MP George Osborne has said he will stay on as Wilmslow’s MP after being appointed editor of the London Evening Standard.
The Tatton MP has issued a statement addressed to his constituents after the newspaper made the surprise announcement last Friday that he will be its new editor.
He faced criticism that working as editor four days a week will distract him from his duties in Wilmslow and the constituency and there have been calls for him to resign. But Mr Osborne says he intends to stay in the role.
In a statement issued on Tuesday he said: “After all that you have read over the recent days about my new role as editor of the Evening Standard, I want to talk directly to you, my constituents.
“It is the greatest honour to be your MP, elected by you to represent our community and take part in the national debate about the great issues Britain faces.
“For 16 years I have done that and with your help we have achieved some major successes. I have also held prominent positions in the public life of the country. For five years I was Shadow Chancellor. For these last six years I was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
“Now I have left Downing Street I want to continue to take part in the debate about the future direction of our country. No longer being Chancellor gives me time to do that – in the chamber of the House of Commons but also as the editor of a major newspaper. There is a long tradition of politics and journalism mixing. Meanwhile the hard work in the constituency continues unaffected.
“I will also be in Manchester to promote our efforts to build the Northern Powerhouse. I believe this diversity of experience makes our Parliament stronger.”
Patti Goddard, president of the Tatton Conservative Association, gave her support to Mr Osborne.
She said: “He’s a hard-working constituency MP. The fact he’s editing the Standard in the weekday mornings won’t affect that at all – after all, being Chancellor was a 24/7 job.”
But opposition leader Angus Reilly, chairman of the Tatton Constituency Labour Party, disagreed.
He said: “The news has only proven what the people of Tatton have known all along: George Osborne’s focus is not on the people of Tatton, where it should be. He should not continue as a Member of Parliament.”