UK

George Osborne's First Evening Standard Edition As Editor Targets Theresa May

There's no love lost between the two former colleagues.

02/05/2017 15:30 BST | Updated 02/05/2017 15:30 BST

George Osborne’s first front page as editor of the Evening Standard signals that he will not be going easy on his former colleague Prime Minister Theresa May.

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was unceremoniously ousted in May’s cabinet reshuffle last year, led Tuesday’s paper with “Brussels Twists Knife On Brexit”.

The Evening Standard’s front page focused on the strained relationship between Downing Street and Brussels and detailed how the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator had mocked May’s “strong and stable” election slogan.

PA Wire/PA Images
George Osborne arrives at the London Evening Standard offices at Northcliffe House in Kensington, London, where he began his new role as editor on Tuesday

An accompanying editorial read: “No one should assume that the referendum gave a mandate to the Government to answer any of these questions about Britain’s future. It did not.

“A general election victory for the Conservatives could provide more of a mandate, but only if the Prime Minister and her colleagues spell out in much more detail what their intentions are. It’s early days, but that is not happening, thanks in part to the failure of the desperately weak Labour leadership to offer a proper opposition.

“There’s nothing wrong with repeating election campaign slogans; the problem comes when the election campaign amounts to no more than a slogan. If you ask for a blank cheque, don’t be surprised if later it bounces.”

May has been criticised for her continued use of the slogan “strong and stable” when discussing the Tory leadership.

Osborne also chose to reintroduce the political cartoon, with May, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron and Paul Nuttall all being ridiculed.

“We don’t think people in this country have had enough of experts; and there is always room for more entertainment.

“We will provide both — which is why the paper of Low and Jak is reintroducing the political cartoon today.

“We will approach the future committed to the optimism, freedom, diversity and enterprise that make this such a great nation; and we will argue for a Britain that doesn’t retreat within itself but remains engaged in Europe and the world,” the editorial reads.

Some believed the front page and cartoon was proof Osborne enjoyed his first day as editor. 

While others suggested it was simply being “forensically dissected” to determine Osborne’s “agenda”.

In March it was announced that Osborne would take over from Sarah Sands as editor.

The paper’s proprietor Evgeny Lebedev said at the time that Osborne was an editor whose “political viewpoint - socially liberal and economically pragmatic - closely matches that of many of our readers”.

Osborne, who will not be seeking re-election on June 8, was greeted by protesters outside the Evening Standard offices on Tuesday morning.

Taxi drivers were demonstrating against his reported links with Uber.