In a stunning announcement, the former chancellor George Osborne has been revealed as the new editor of the Evening Standard while still keeping his role as an MP.

Osborne, who was sacked from Theresa May's cabinet in July, will take over from the outgoing editor of the free daily London newspaper in May.

According to reports, Osborne will balance his schedule by working as editor of the paper in the mornings before continuing his duties as MP for Tatton, a constituency in the north-west of England, for the rest of the day.

The surprising announcement was made soon after it was revealed Osborne will be earning around £650,000 a year working just one day a week as an adviser to financial giant Blackrock.

Osborne said he is "thrilled" to take on the "exciting and challenging job" at the paper. He added: "The Evening Standard is a great paper, testimony to the hard work of Sarah Sands and the impressive team, and to the investment of its owners. I look forward to working with, learning from and leading this team of dedicated professionals.

"Growing up as a Londoner, I've always known that the Evening Standard is an institution that plays a huge part in the life of the city and its people. Now it is a great honour that I can play a part as leader of the editorial team making the Evening Standard the definitive voice of the world's most exciting city."

He added: "I am proud to be a Conservative MP, but as editor and leader of a team of dedicated and independent journalists, our only interest will be to give a voice to all Londoners. We will be fearless as a paper fighting for their interests. We will judge what the government, London's politicians and the political parties do against this simple test: is it good for our readers and good for London? If it is, we'll support them. If it isn't, we'll be quick to say so."

Evgeny Lebedev, the billionaire owner of the paper, added: "In George, we have appointed someone of huge political achievement, and economic and cultural authority. Once he put himself forward for the position, he was the obvious choice. I am proud to have an Editor of such substance, who reinforces the Evening Standard's standing and influence in London and whose political viewpoint - liberal on social issues and pragmatic on economic ones - closely matches those of many of our readers."

The Evening Standard is the most read free newspaper in the capital, with a circulation of more than 880,000. It is known for showing preferential treatment towards the Tory party, including backing both Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith in London Mayoral elections.

Following the shock announcement, one journalist who works at the paper told IBTimes UK: "I believe London and Londoners deserve better. We need a real newspaper with editorial integrity, not a Tory party rag."