Journalists and politicians have reacted with disbelief after the Evening Standard announced that former chancellor George Osborne will become the paper's new editor.

Osborne will continue working as an MP for Tatton, a constituency in the north-west of England, and as an adviser to financial giant Blackrock.

BBC presenter Andrew Neil and former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger criticised the appointment of Osborne, who has no journalistic experience, as editor of London's most-read newspaper, which has a circulation of 880,000.

Rusbridger sarcastically said: "Michael Foot was editor of the Evening Standard at age of 38 in 1942. Sweetly, he had previously worked as a journalist", while Neil posted: "When made editor of The Sunday Times I was criticised because I hadn't been an editor. Mr Osborne hasn't even been a journalist".

Others questioned how a Conservative MP could ensure impartial news coverage. Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy commented sarcastically: "Looking forward to the Evening Standard's coverage of Tory Election expenses scandal."

Politicians mocked Osborne's new job with former Labour leader Ed Miliband joking: "Breaking: I will shortly be announced as editor of Heat magazine...", while Tim Farron said: "I guess I should apply to edit Viz then?"

A spokesperson for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Osborne's appointment represented "yet another example of the establishment revolving door, a closely knit clique who are holding back the British people. The appointment makes a mockery of the independence of the media. It takes multitasking to a new level and is an insult to the electors he is supposed to serve."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's reaction was less outraged. He congratulated Osborne on becoming the editor of the paper "covering the world's greatest city."

Osborne, who was sacked from Theresa May's cabinet in July, will take over from outgoing editor Sarah Sands in May.

He said he is "thrilled" to take on the "exciting and challenging job" at the paper and added that his views as a Conservative MP will not influence the paper's editorial stance.

"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," he said. "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."

Osborne arrived at the Evening Standard office at midday on Friday 17 March to meet with the newspaper's journalists.

An Evening Standard journalist, who wished to remain anonymous, told IBTimes UK: "I believe London and Londoners deserve better. We need a real newspaper with editorial integrity, not a Tory party rag."