More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for George Osborne to quit as an MP or resign as editor of the Evening Standard.
The former chancellor will take over editorial control of the London daily newspaper in early May, replacing the outgoing Sarah Sands, who is leaving for the BBC, after a shock announcement on Friday.
The newspaper announced Mr Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s School in Lonsdale Road, Barnes, before reading modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford, will edit the paper on average four days a week.
This would enable the Tory MP “to edit the paper and continue to fulfil his other commitments, including as an MP; giving him the time to vote and contribute in parliament in the afternoon after the paper has gone to print, and be in his constituency”, the Standard stated.
But the creator of the petition, now signed by more than 140,000 people, disagrees, and wrote “no other full-time job would let you just work afternoons” and that as MP for Tatton in Cheshire, “helping someone in need or providing vital support to struggling families… should always be George Osborne’s number one priority.”
The petition’s creator Diana Simkins wrote on campaigns site 38 Degrees:” It’s not appropriate for someone to be a member of the government and also control a huge amount of the media.
“George Osborne needs to pick a job.”
Mr Osborne was shortlisted but ultimately turned down for a trainee scheme with The Times in 1993 and unsuccessfully interviewed for a job at The Economist.
He later freelanced for political gossip column the Peterborough Diary in The Telegraph.
Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the newspaper, tweeted: "I am proud to have an editor of such substance, who reinforces the Standard's standing and influence in London and whose political viewpoint - socially liberal and economically pragmatic - closely matches that of many of our readers.”
Mr Osborne also works as an after-dinner speaker in America, is chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, adviser to fund management firm Blackrock, and a fellow at the McCain Institute.
The government rejected a petition calling for George Osborne to give up his part-time jobs and concentrate on his parliamentary duties earlier this month.
To sign the new petition, visit 38 Degrees