Former Tory Chancellor George Osborne has used the lead article of the Tuesday edition of the London Evening Standard to attack Brexit on his first day as editor, as angry black cab drivers descended on his new office to protest.
The outgoing MP for Tatton also faced accusations of hypocrisy after he used the leader to warn the Government against repeating slogans and asking for a “blank cheque”.
Mr. Osborne was famous in Government for his much-repeated slogans, such as “long-term economic plan”, “northern powerhouse”, “strong and stable majority”, and the anti-Brexit “stronger and safer together”.
The protesting drivers turned up to voice “fears that the paper could lose its independence and status as the ‘voice of London’ under his leadership”, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said Tuesday.
London cab drivers protest in Kensington on George Osborne’s first day as editor of the Evening Standard. The cabbies gathered after reports that Osborne and the previous government intervened to stop the then mayor Boris Johnson imposing stricter controls on Uber
Posted by The Guardian on Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Mr. Osborne denied the claim on social media, tweeting: “Excited about first day in new job @EveningStandard. Without fear or favour we’ll provide the facts & analysis – and entertain along the way.”
According to City A.M., LTDA cited media claims Mr. Osborne had lobbied on behalf of Uber when he was chancellor, giving the ride-hailing app “inappropriate influence over the development of private hire licensing regulations in London”.
The paper’s cartoon mocked Prime Minister Theresa May and the main story reported the relationship between Brussels and Downing Street going downhill after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker allegedly disagreed with Mrs. May and said she was “deluded” over Brexit.
Mrs. May sacked the former chancellor when she became prime minister last summer after David Cameron was forced to quit following the referendum result.
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) May 2, 2017
In a thinly veiled attack on Mr. Osborne’s old cabinet colleague, the editorial states: “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.”