George Osborne’s decision to take the job as editor of the London Evening Standard has been backed by his local Tory councillors – even though the time he spends in their constituency may be drastically reduced.
Osborne’s shock appointment was announced today, leading many to suggest the former chancellor won’t have the time to fulfil his constituency responsibilities.
But this suggestion was rubbished by his local Tories – including one of the people who selected him as the Conservative candidate for Tatton in 1999.
Former councillor Jim Crockett, who was on the nomination committee back then, told talkRADIO: “He’s going to have a job [balancing his various roles, but] they didn’t want him as a chancellor.
"He was a good chancellor, the person who’s doing it now has made a right mess of it. Now it’s up to him to find something better.
“It will be difficult but that’s his decision. It’s a free country and Theresa May didn’t want him as chancellor. It’s up to him – he’s got to do something, he’s got to look after his own interests.
“I was one of a small team that chose George as our potential MP, and he hasn’t let us down.”
Mark Stocks, councillor in Northwich East and Shakerley, said Osborne has already proven himself able to hold down multiple jobs, so his hectic schedule may be sustainable.
He told us: “I am a bit surprised but it was obvious he was pursuing other interests.
“We had thought he would spend more time in the constituency but that’s a balancing act for George. He managed to maintain [the balancing act] while he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he maintained a good link with the constituency.”
Marbury councillor Lynne Gibbon said Osborne has every right to take the job - although time will tell whether he can maintain his constituency role.
“He’s going to be a busy man,” Gibbon said. "I thought ‘yes he’s got the intellect, he’s got the background, he’d be quite good in the job’, although I don’t know if he’s ever been in journalism.
"And then I thought ‘oh, with the other commitments he’s going to be busy!’
“He’s got the right, no-one says he can’t do it. He’s been smashing for us, maybe he feels his talents are not being taken up. He was very innovative as chancellor, not everything came up but he had the finger on the pulse.
“You’d have to see how it pans out. If it becomes clear that he hasn’t got the time, people might think differently.”