George Osborne could earn tens of thousands of pounds on the speaking circuit after being given permission to sign up to a US company that already has Tony Blair and Gordon Brown on its books.
The government’s advisory committee on business appointments said the former chancellor “intends to make speeches on the current political environment” after registering with the Washington Speakers Bureau. Osborne said he expected his decision would result in one or two days’ speaking a month, and that he would personally ensure that each event involved no conflict of interest.
The committee has advised the Conservative MP, who now sits on the backbenches, that it sees no reason for him not to take up the appointment as long as he waits until three months after his final day in ministerial office.
The committee chairwoman, Angela Browning, wrote: “When considering your application the committee took into account that you had no dealings with the Washington Speakers Bureau while in office and there will be no contact involved with your former department or government more generally.”
She said her committee had consulted the Treasury, which had no concerns about him taking up employment as a speaker.
Osborne was demoted from the cabinet and given no ministerial position in Theresa May’s reshuffle. She told him face-to-face that she was replacing him as chancellor, and would not be appointing him as foreign secretary, as he was believed to have wanted. Instead, she gave the job to Boris Johnson.
Osborne is now allowed to take on work on top of his MP’s salary of almost £75,000, with the speaking circuit thought to be hugely profitable. Blair has been said to attract up to £200,000 at a time, with Brown charging up to £70,000, which is given to his charitable foundation, according to reports.
This article was written by Anushka Asthana, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 16th August 2016 18.43 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010