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Osborne appointment to Evening Standard must be blocked

17th March 2017, London – Reacting to news that George Osborne MP, former Chancellor, has been appointed Editor of the Evening Standard, Robert Barrington Transparency International UK Executive Director said:

“The proposition is that a sitting MP, from the governing party, is appointed Editor of a major British newspaper – in addition to his new position as a highly-paid City adviser. It smacks of greed and the accumulation of power, undermining the Government’s intention to create a country that works for everyone.

 Mr Osborne is clearly being badly advised and we can only hope that others help him to understand the damage he is doing to the reputation of parliament and democracy at a critical time in the country’s history. The conflict of interest is so clear it is astonishing that it should have been proposed. A key role of the media is to hold politicians to account; to have a recent Minister or an MP running the editorial line of a newspaper certainly calls into question whether this principle can be upheld.

 It is inconceivable that ACOBA, the advisory body for political business appointments, could approve this move, and therefore extraordinary that it should have been proposed. If ACOBA approve this they will be signing their own death-warrant , confirming they are not fit for purpose and unable to guard against conflicts of interest and consequences of the revolving door – two of the most prevalent corruption risks in UK politics.

 This case further underlines the need for the Government to press ahead urgently with the much delayed Anti-Corruption Strategy, that must clearly address the integrity of our democratic institutions as part of its remit.”

 
***ENDS***

Contact:
Dominic Kavakeb
Dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk
020 3096 7695
079 6456 0340

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Read 302 times Last modified on Friday, 17 March 2017 14:25

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