George Osborne leads with Brexit struggles in first edition of Evening Standard under his editorship

George Osborne marks his first day as editor of the newspaper with

The Evening Standard’s first edition under George Osborne’s editorship has lead with the strained relations between the prime minister and the European Union (EU).

The newspaper’s front cover read "Brussels twists knife on Brexit” and ran with a story on the EU's chief negotiaitor Guy Verhofstadt mocking Theresa May for the ‘strong and stable’ leadership slogan which she continues to use.

The article by political editor Joe Murphy refers to reports of disagreements over the Brexit negotiations at a private dinner between May and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, last week.

In his first leader column – which Osborne is reported to have overseen rather than written himself - the former chancellor calls the vote to leave the EU a "historic mistake" and goes on to criticise the Tory campaign which he summed up as "no more than a slogan".

The paper went on to say it was committed to the "optimism, freedom, diversity and enterprise" and "will argue for a Britain that doesn't retreat within itself but remains engaged in Europe and the world".

It says: "We will be the voice of London on issues from air quality to knife crime - as we are today - but we won't restrict ourselves to issues that primarily affect the capital."

Upon arriving for his first day in the new role, Osborne said: "It's very exciting to be starting in the new job.

"It's a really important time in our country when people are going to want the straight facts, the informed analysis so they can make the really big decisions about this country's future."

The appointment of the former chancellor and Conservative MP for Tatton was unexpected given his lack of experience in the profession. He failed to get a place on the Times trainee journalism scheme after he graduated from Oxford in 1992 and was similarly rejected by the Economist.

Concerns of impartiality have also been widely cited, with media minister Matthew Hancock being warned by opposition MPs that he faces a conflict of interest over his role as press regulator following the appointment of his former boss.

Osborne pledged to be "fearless" and "independent" in his new role, however the first edition under his editorship has led to accusations from the likes of the Guardian writer Jane Martinson that he intends to take on Theresa May.

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