George Osborne, the editor of the Evening Standard and former chancellor of the exchequer, has added a sixth job to his portfolio – that of honorary professor of economics at the University of Manchester.
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Osborne was very supportive of Greater Manchester and the University, particularly in supporting the National Graphene Institute and Henry Royce Institute as important scientific centres for translating cutting-edge discovery into economic growth.
This support formed part of the concept of the Northern Powerhouse which he developed to help city regions across the North of England work together to deliver better connectivity and increased productivity.
Mr Osborne is due to start in July. He said: "I am bowled over by this honour. The University of Manchester was at the centre of so many things I tried to achieve as chancellor, from the promotion of new science to the building of the links between this country and countries like China.
"It is also one of the jewels in the crown of the Northern Powerhouse. I remain completely committed to that idea that together the different communities in the North can work together so that the whole is greater than the parts – and I believe more strongly than I ever did that the entire country, including our capital, would benefit from a stronger North.
"That’s why I remain closely involved as chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership – and look forward to playing a part in the life of the University of Manchester."
Nancy Rothwell, University of Manchester vice-chancellor, said: "George’s decision to accept our offer of an honorary professorship is very exciting news for the University. He has been a leader at the top level of UK and world economic policy for many years and showed the vision to recognise the enormous economic and scientific potential of graphene to the UK."
One colleague told the Financial Times that the appointment was a "coup" for the university and said Mr Osborne will "relish" teaching austerity to angry young Corbynistas. However, the appointment is not supported by everyone, with The University and College Union criticising Osborne's appointment.