The ex-chancellor joked that parliament would be “enhanced” by his new role
SENIOR Tories demanded George Osborne is grilled by the party’s powerful 1922 Committee tomorrow to explain how he can be an MP and a newspaper editor.
The call came as the brazen ex-Chancellor cracked jokes and said Parliament would be “enhanced” by his new job editing the London Evening Standard.
He sparked boos from the Labour benches when he quipped that an emergency Commons debate triggered by MPs furious about his sixth job had not come in time for his new newspaper’s lunchtime deadline.
Mr Osborne told MPs: “In my view this Parliament is enhanced when we have people have of different experience take part in our robust debate.”
But he added he would “listen to what my colleagues have to say” about accepting the powerful role at the London’s evening paper as well as remaining MP for Tatton, Cheshire.
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But MPs hit back accusing him of behaving like a “medieval cleric, not a modern politician” and taking voters for fools.
Mr Osborne’s new role comes on top of four other high paid jobs he has accepted since being sacked as Chancellor by Theresa May last year.
He will earn £650,000 per year as an adviser to investment giants Blackrock, and has banked more £730,000 from lucrative after dinner speeches since last July.
Last night his fellow Tories wanted to see Mr Osborne hauled before the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers.
One furious member of the committee’s executive told The Sun: “I have no doubt this will dominate our meeting on Wednesday and George should come explain his frankly stunning decision.”
Another senior Conservative MP added: “Colleagues are absolutely furious and it is only right that he comes and hears that fury for himself.”
And a separate 1922 Committee chief pointed out that George Osborne removed the whip from Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries when she appeared on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’ in 2012 without seeking prior permission.
There is no formal procedure in place for backbenchers to address the 1922 Committee, but insiders made clear Mr Osborne would be given the opportunity to “defend himself from the floor”.
He also faces an angry showdown with his constituents in Cheshire on Friday and faces the prospect three separate sleaze watchdog probes.
Both the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Committee on Standards in Public Life were both last night considering launching inquiries.
And Labour have called for a probe into whether Mr Osborne broke rules for former ministers by failing to clear the appointment with the Cabinet Office’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.
Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer said an application to Acoba for advice on Mr Osborne’s Evening Standard role was received on March 13 and is under consideration.
He added: “Until this advice is made public, it is a confidential process between the committee and Mr Osborne, although no doubt a matter of significant interest to this House.”
He added that MPs second jobs were an “ongoing concern to the public widely” and hinted that the issue would could be reviewed again by Parliament.