'Man of the people' Boris Johnson pockets £500k from personal empire

Boris Johnson has been accused of failing his constituents after pocketing over £500k since 2017 on top of his generous MP salary.

Dubbed 'Brand Boris', the former Foreign Secretary has earned just over half a million from his personal empire of books, speeches and newspaper columns.

In November 2018, Johnson earned a whopping £94,507 for two hours worth of work on a speech, his members register of interests shows. 

Between December 2018 and January 2019, he raked in a further £80k for a further two speeches.

The MP was also forced to apologise to the Commons previously after he failed to abide by rules which require him to register outside earnings within a specific time period.

However, Johnson was rebuked by the Standards Committee for a second time this month after he failed to declare a financial interest in a property within the required time limit.

The damning report from the watchdog said Johnson had displayed an "over-casual attitude towards obeying the rules of the house”.

Before 2017 Johnson earned almost £2 million from his London Mayor salary, newspaper columns and book royalties in the four years preceding 2016.

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Speaking to The Red Robin, Ali Milani, the Labour candidate challenging Boris Johnson in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said Johnson had the wrong priorities.

“When a public official reportedly earns nearly quadruple their salary as a backbench MP writing weekly columns in the Telegraph and over £90k for speeches and functions; it is no surprise that same official places his constituency rock bottom of his priorities. Boris Johnson has always placed one thing atop his agenda: Boris Johnson.

"Most people in this country are struggling daily to make ends meet, yet Boris Johnson spends his time collecting paycheque after paycheque in white ties in front of millionaires. It’s time our public officials reflected us - the public," he said.

Boris Johnson has also attracted significant donations of £114,000 to his office since he was elected to the House of Commons in 2015.

Half of the MP's outside earnings came from the Telegraph, where he is paid £275,000 for his weekly column which is worth 10 hours of work a month, equivalent to £4.80 per word.

The newspaper was forced to correct a January article penned by Johnson after he falsely claimed a no-deal Brexit was the most popular option among the British public.

In a bizarre defence of their columnist, the newspaper said his writing could not be read as "serious, in-depth analysis". 

Boris Johnson was not available for comment when contacted by The Red Robin.

Image: Annika Haas

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