Caroline Lucas calls for George Osborne to resign as MP

Caroline Lucas (Photograph: Jon Rigby)
Caroline Lucas (Photograph: Jon Rigby)

The Green Party MP for Brighton has called on former Chancellor George Osborne to step down as MP, after taking up the editorship of a London newspaper.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said Mr Osborne’s appointment as London Evening Standard editor raises questions about his ability to serve as an MP, as well as the paper’s impartiality.

George Osborne

George Osborne

It was announced earlier today that the Conservative MP had been appointed as editor for the Evening Standard, and he is expected to start the new job in May.

Ms Lucas said: “Osborne’s appointment as editor of the Standard raises very serious questions about both his own ability to continue as an MP and the newspaper’s impartiality. At the very least George Osborne should be stripped of his title as a Privy Councillor and barred from any secure briefings that the role gives him.

“The truth is that by taking this job George Osborne has shown contempt for his constituents. The only honourable thing would be to step down as an MP so he can concentrate on making money from City firms and learning how to do a job at the Standard that he’s entirely unqualified for.”

Four parliamentary questions tabled by Ms Lucas also asked how Theresa May will ensure Osborne does not misuse his position as an MP to gain stories, or use Parliament’s facilities for his editorial work.

They were:

- To ask the Prime Minister, what arrangements will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that the Editor of the London Evening Standard is not able to misuse his position as a member of the Privy Council to generate news stories based on confidential government briefings or advance notice of any prime ministerial decision to commit HM Armed Forces in enemy action; and if she will make a statement.

- To ask the Prime Minister, what checks and balances will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that government ministers do not exert undue influence on the editorial policy of the London Evening Standard newspaper, and that the Editor of the Evening Standard does not exert undue influence on the policy positions of government ministers; and if she will make a statement.

- To ask the Prime Minister, what arrangements will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that the Editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper is able to fully comply with three-line whips in relation to parliamentary debates and divisions; and if she will make a statement.

- To ask the Prime Minister, what arrangements will be put in place by 10 Downing Street to ensure that the Editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper does not make inappropriate use of parliamentary estate premises and facilities when undertaking his editorial duties; and if she will make a statement.