“Boris Johnson has pocketed nearly £700,000 for speeches and newspaper columns since he quit government less than a year ago, while other prominent Brexiters have received tens of thousands of pounds while cheerleading Britain’s exit from the EU.
The former foreign secretary, who is the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister next month, was paid £407,895 for just eight speaking engagements – a rate of £20,000 an hour.
His most recent paid speeches, disclosed in the register of MPs’ financial interests on Wednesday, included a £25,540 insurance brokers’ gig in Manchester where he confirmed his Tory leadership bid on 16 May. …”
On top of his £407,000 for speeches, the Tory MP resumed his £275,000 a year Telegraph contract and received a further £3,500 for four other newspaper articles, plus £27,000 in book royalties, taking his total income to £712,500 – almost 10 times his yearly MP’s salary of £79,000 for representing Uxbridge and South Ruislip in parliament.
Johnson’s best-paying gig was a speech about Brexit for India Today at the five-star Taj Palace hotel in New Delhi, India, for which he received £122,899.74 in March. He used that address to attack Brussels and critics of Britain’s departure from the EU, which he described as an “anti-democratic, over-legislating, job-destroying machine”.
Should Johnson become prime minister, he will have to forfeit his substantial second income and survive on the basic salary of £150,402 for the top job in government. The ministerial code prohibits those in government from being paid for speeches or media articles “of an official nature or which directly draw on their responsibilities or experience as ministers”.
However, upon leaving office they are free, within reason, to cash in on their role. Payments of over £100 must be registered every 28 days with the parliamentary commissioner for standards, who then publishes a fortnightly register of all MPs’ financial interests. …
One of the most prominent backbench Eurosceptics, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has received more than £28,000 for columns and media appearances since the referendum. The Tory MP, who chairs the influential European Research Group, was paid in champagne for one speech by Global Media, the owner of LBC radio where he hosts a fortnightly phone-in. The register of interests, first disclosed in April, states that he “received 12 bottles of champagne with a total value of £323.52”.
Dominic Raab, another former Brexit secretary, was paid nearly £11,000 for newspaper columns since the EU referendum, not including the five months he was in government. …”