Osborne's Evening Standard savages Theresa May's election campaign

Paper’s editorial attacks ‘disastrous manifesto’ and says Britain ‘could not have got off to a worse start’ in Brexit process

General election 2017 - live updates

They used to say revenge was best served cold. But that was before George Osborne discovered a better way – serving it regularly, in the pages of the newspaper he edits, to a captive audience of commuters.

The former chancellor was pointedly not invited to join Theresa May’s cabinet when she took over as prime minister, and is no longer a Conservative MP, giving him freedom to speak his mind on the current election campaign.

On Tuesday the London Evening Standard did just that, publishing a bitingly critical editorial that savaged May’s approach to Brexit and her election strategy to date.

It said the Tory campaign had “meandered from an abortive attempt to launch a personality cult around Mrs May to the self-inflicted wound of the most disastrous manifesto in recent history”.

The prime minister had been right to say Brexit was the overwhelmingly important issue facing Britain when she called the election, “although we suspect the allure of a potential landslide was the real reason”, it said.

But in her dealings with the EU to date, “we could not have got off to a worse start”, the paper argued, citing “high-handed British arrogance” as part of the problem.

While dismissive of “what passes for [Jeremy Corbyn’s] campaign strategy”, the leader said both main parties had failed to show that Britain was not turning its back on the world.

“We have had no answers from Labour or the Conservatives” the paper said, adding that both must now begin to “treat the public like grownups”.


Esther Addley

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
No senior minister backs immigration pledge, Osborne's Standard says
Former chancellor’s paper says top Tories assumed May would bury pledge to reduce net immigration to tens of thousands

Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

17, May, 2017 @4:41 PM

Article image
Osborne's first Evening Standard edition shows resolve to take on May
Former chancellor’s first paper as editor splashes on Brussels’ moves on Brexit, with leader column criticising Tory campaign

Jane Martinson

02, May, 2017 @6:45 PM

Article image
George Osborne's future at Evening Standard in doubt
Exclusive: former chancellor expected to leave role amid shakeup by new chief executive, sources say

Jim Waterson Media editor

07, Feb, 2020 @6:43 PM

Article image
Labour demands answers over George Osborne's Evening Standard job
Government departments to be asked to detail advertising spending with London newspaper as row over former chancellor’s job as editor rumbles on

Jessica Elgot

19, Mar, 2017 @8:00 PM

Article image
Tory nerves fray as Jeremy Corbyn narrows Theresa May’s lead in new poll
• 37% of voters have lower opinion of prime minister than at start of month
• 39% have more positive view of Labour leader, says Observer/Opinium research

Toby Helm and Michael Savage

27, May, 2017 @5:55 PM

Article image
Osborne's new job confirms disturbing Tory dominance of the media | Roy Greenslade
From Johnson to Gove, Tories are revelling in their links to papers, and proprietors no longer try to hide their rightwing views

Roy Greenslade

17, Mar, 2017 @5:17 PM

Article image
'Tory uprising' claim puts school funding row centre stage in campaign
On second day of George Osborne’s editorship, string of Tories call on PM in London Evening Standard to rethink plans

Sally Weale and Peter Walker

03, May, 2017 @3:35 PM

Article image
Ethics committee may ask Osborne to decline Evening Standard role
Under-fire former chancellor tells fellow MPs ‘parliament is enhanced when we have people from all walks of life’

Jessica Elgot and Esther Addley

20, Mar, 2017 @7:21 PM

Article image
George Osborne facing calls to quit as MP over Evening Standard job
Former chancellor appointed as London daily’s new editor is under pressure from Labour and some Tories to resign as Tatton MP

Esther Addley, Anushka Asthana, Lisa O'Carroll and Jessica Elgot

17, Mar, 2017 @4:34 PM

Article image
George Osborne to stand down as MP 'for now'
Former chancellor announces he will leave Commons after taking up string of other jobs, including editing Evening Standard

Rowena Mason and Jane Martinson

19, Apr, 2017 @11:56 AM