George and Hugo – both parachuted, both with other responsibilities

Owl says: Mr Swire was parachuted into the safe seat of East Devon from London. He is also Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council which takes up quite a bit of his time, including travel to the Middle East

At least George has a home in his constituency – Swire chooses to live in Mid-Devon.

“Constituents of George Osborne in the Cheshire constituency of Tatton were largely critical of the former chancellor’s decision to take on the editorship of the London Evening Standard, arguing that it would make it hard for him to represent the seat.

Richard Page, whose mother, Beth, was on the selection committee that gave Osborne the party’s nomination, said: “I think it will be a great loss to the local political world. How can he do both jobs? We want someone who is fully committed to the area.”

His mother, he added, had supported Osborne’s selection because she “thought he was a man that was going places”. But he admitted he had always been sceptical about somebody who had been parachuted in from London. “They don’t have the same links with the area,” he said.”

Others in Knutsford, an affluent town with cobbled streets and boutique shops, said it was “ridiculous” to have an MP with affiliations to a particular party at the helm of a newspaper, creating the potential for political bias. There was also the strong feeling that Osborne would become distracted as he dedicated four days a week to the paper.”