George Osborne has ANOTHER job! Ex-Chancellor is elected as chairman of British Museum… while still heading Northern Powerhouse Partnership and partner at financial consultancy (after quitting as Evening Standard editor)
- George Osborne is joining the board of the British Museum as its chairman
- Former chancellor will succeed Sir Richard Lambert as chair on October 4
- He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under David Cameron in 2010-16
- Mr Osborne has worked at Blackrock and Evening Standard since government
Former Tory chancellor George Osborne has been elected as chairman of the British Museum, the institution announced this morning.
The museum said in a statement that Mr Osborne will join the board on September 1 and will succeed outgoing chair Sir Richard Lambert, a former Financial Times editor and CBI director general, on October 4.
He was appointed by trustees including Left-leaning figures Professor Dame Mary Beard, artist Grayson Perry and former TV presenter Muriel Gray.
Mr Osborne served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under David Cameron‘s Tory government in 2010-16, but was sacked by Theresa May after she became premier during the initial fallout from the EU referendum.
He is a former editor of the London Evening Standard and senior advisor at investment firm Blackrock, and is currently a partner at financial consultants Robey Warshaw and chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
In a statement released through the institution, Mr Osborne said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at the British Museum – and so honoured to have had the opportunity to apply for this role, and to have been chosen by the Trustees to become their Chair.
Former Tory chancellor George Osborne has been elected as chairman of the British Museum, the institution announced this morning
The British Museum said in a statement that Mr Osborne will join the board on September 1 and will succeed outgoing chair Sir Richard Lambert, a former Financial Times editor and CBI director general, on October 4
‘All my life I have loved the British Museum. To my mind, it is quite simply the greatest museum in the world. It’s a place that brings cultures together and tells the story of our common humanity.
‘Richard Lambert will be a very hard act to follow, but I look forward to working with Hartwig and the impressive team he leads at the museum.
‘I hope to bring my experience, energy and passion to this incredibly exciting role.’
Mr Osborne’s appointment comes at a hinge point in the history of the British Museum, which is one of many cultural institutions at the heart of a raging row over the removal of controversial monuments.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden sparked a backlash this year when he intervened to tell museums and heritage organisations to follow a policy of ‘retaining and explaining’ contested items rather than removing them.
The British Museum has also come under pressure from climate activists over its sponsorship links to oil giant BP.
Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum said: ‘I am very happy to welcome George Osborne as our Chair. George Osborne knows the Museum well and values the trust the Museum enjoys around the world.
In a statement, Mr Osborne said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at the British Museum – and so honoured to have had the opportunity to apply for this role, and to have been chosen by the Trustees to become their Chair’
‘He understands the active role the British Museum is playing in the recovery of the country, creating opportunities for everyone to discover the collection as their own – onsite, through loans to their local museums and online.
‘Under the current leadership of Sir Richard Lambert, we have laid the groundwork for the masterplan, to embark on the biggest transformative project in our history, and to renew our displays.
‘Together with my colleagues I look forward to working with George to continue to ensure that the British Museum is the most innovative, accessible and inspiring museum of the world, for the world.’
Baroness Minouche Shafik, deputy chair, said: ‘George Osborne has a long-standing commitment to culture, both personally and in his various public roles.
‘The Trustees look forward to working with him to bring the Museum to ever larger audiences and to expand its contribution to public understanding of our collective history. He brings enthusiasm for the Museum combined with extensive national and international networks and experience with finance and fundraising on a global scale.
‘With the masterplan, the Museum is undergoing a major programme of renewal and his experience will prove invaluable as we work to deliver even more wonderful opportunities for everyone to enjoy the Museum’s collection.’