Minister focuses on day job

Johnson gives up ‘chicken feed’ 275k paper column

Boris Johnson ITV EU debateBoris Johnson is giving up his £275,000-a-year column for the Daily Telegraph following his appointment to the Cabinet.

The Commons register of members’ interests show the new Foreign Secretary earned £22,916.66 per month from his weekly column which was based on 10 hours work.

It is claimed this made him Britain’s best paid journalist if his fee is broken down on an hourly rate, working out at £2,300 per hour.

His fee dwarfed  his £140,000-a-year job as London mayor, similar to his current remuneration in government. He receives £143,789 (salary of £74,962 as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip with a ministerial salary of £68,827). Giving up his Telegraph column therfore represents a big pay cut.

He had also negotiated a £90,000 deal with Hodder & Stoughton to write a book, Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius. It was due for publication in October, but has now been postponed.

In 2009 he told the BBC his then £250,000-a-year payment for his Telegraph columns was “chicken feed”, and he didn’t see a problem with “knocking off an article”.

He added: “If someone wants to pay me for that article, then that’s their lookout – and of course I make a substantial donation to charity.”

Telegraph editor Chris Evans said Mr Johnson “has been an outstanding columnist for The Daily Telegraph for many years…with a legion of devoted fans.”

He is expected to write occasional comment pieces for a range of publications in his role as Foreign Secretary.

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