NEWS

George Osborne Boasts About Protecting Tatton Constituency From His Own Tory Cuts

The Ex-Chancellor burnishes his credentials as a local MP (with five other jobs).

22/03/2017 12:04
STEFAN ROUSSEAU via Getty Images

George Osborne has used an open letter to constituents to brag about his successes as a local MP - despite wielding the heavy axe of austerity for more than six years as Chancellor.

The Tatton MP boasted he had been instrumental in twice stopping the closure of an A&E department at a local hospital.

And he talked of having helped get a bypass through his constituency built - a feat “people had been trying for 70 years”.

“We’ve improved the direct train services, got great new facilities for our academy schools, and brought new businesses and new jobs to the area,” Osborne wrote

He also assured constituents his new job as editor of the London Evening Standard, which has a circulation of over 850,000 copies a day, would not compromise his duties as an MP.

Getty Images
Osborne is to become editor of a newspaper that has not always been kind to him

But Osborne’s policy area boasts - health and transport - make strange reading when compared to his legacy as Chancellor.

He was accused in October 2015 of breaking a landmark Tory pledge to protect the NHS budget. 

Doctors, nurses and council leaders wrote to him to say a planned £200m cut to local council’ public health grant would hit NHS services directly.

He was also accused by Labour of cutting the NHS repairs fund by £1.1bn in March last year.

And Osborne delivered one of the biggest budget crunches of 2015 to the Department of Transport, whose expenditure he slashed by 37%.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Osborne served as David Cameron's Chancellor for over six years

Further on in his letter to constituents, Osborne paid homage to fellow Tory MP turned Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who he said also “combined the role of [newspaper] editor and MP”.

Defending his decision to take on his sixth concurrent job, he wrote: “For almost all of those sixteen years, I have also held prominent positions in the public life of the country.

“For five years I was Shadow Chancellor. For these last six years I was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“It was a real privilege to hold one of the great offices of state but it is also one of the most demanding jobs in the country - working dawn to dusk, and on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Throughout that time I was there for you as your local MP.

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
Boris Johnson had also mixed journalism and politics, Osborne pointed out

“Now I have left Downing Street I want to continue to take part in the debate about the future direction of our country.

“No longer being Chancellor gives me time to do that in other ways - yes, in the Chamber of the House of Commons; but also as the editor of a major newspaper, the Evening Standard.

“There is a long tradition of politics and journalism mixing.”

Osborne’s editorship will take his job total up to six. He is also a speaker at the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, an advisor to fund management firm Blackrock, a fellow at the American think tank the McCain Institute - and an MP.

NOW WATCH: 

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS