Nigel Farage gives verdict on Boris Johnson row
After stepping down as Prime Minister last September, Boris Johnson has now bowed out as an MP as well – doing so in dramatic fashion just days before the Privileges Committee declared he had misled Parliament over Partygate.
In purely financial terms, this represented a sacrifice of his £84,000 salary. While leader, he was netting an extra £80,000 on top of this.
Having just moved into a £3.8million moated mansion in Oxfordshire, Mr Johnson wasted no time in shoring up new income sources. Within hours of the damning report’s publication on Thursday, he was teased as a new columnist for the Daily Mail.
A celebrity in his own right before ever setting foot in the Commons, he has long been able to cash in on his opinions. This earnings potential has only increased since his tumultuous time at the top.
With a hovering suspension likely to spoil any chances of a by-election victory, Mr Johnson faces at least a year away from frontline politics. Express.co.uk tried to work out how much he could net in a year if he devoted himself to the media.
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In triumph or in disgrace, the country’s attention never strayed far from Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson’s £164,000-a-year wage as Prime Minister between the summer of 2019 and September 2022 placed him firmly in the top one percent of UK earners. A look at the MPs’ register of interests, however, show he raked in vastly greater sums outside of Parliament.
Totting up his disclosures for the six-month period since he left office shows his outside earnings totalled some £5million.
These include an advance of over £500,000 for an upcoming book, as well as £315,000 for a 30-minute speech and “fireside chat” in his birth country of the US.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mark Thomas, founder of London-based media consultancy TM Media, suggested the former Prime Minister could “easily make £10million a year” if he forged a path down this avenue.
Slammed by the Partygate report on Thursday, he was already primed for a new paper column
Jonathan Shalit, leading London talent manager and chairman of the InterTalent Rights Group, explained why this was. He said: “When it comes to current affairs right now, Boris is in the pre-eminent position. People are fascinated by him, he’s intelligent and he’s interesting.”
In his backbench days, Mr Johnson received £250,000 for his Daily Telegraph column – a sum he once described as “chicken feed”. He was also once paid £3,000 for an article he penned for The Spectator magazine, which he claims took him just an hour to write.
Although the exact figure has not been disclosed, his Mail column contract is reportedly worth £1million. Mr Shalit believes he’s worth every penny, describing the newspaper’s move as “genius”.
Mr Thomas said: “He will be the first £100million politician within a decade, eclipsing even Tony Blair.”
After serving for ten years as Labour Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, Mr Blair went on to advise banks, command several non-profits and pen a number of memoirs, alongside being UN envoy to the Middle East. His net worth is estimated to be around £50million today.
Boris travelled to Ukraine multiple times, making him a “pre-eminent” voice in current affairs
Mr Johnson’s “Marmite character” – in that everyone either hates or loves him – makes him a dependable crowd-puller, the celebrity management expert explained. His insights, after leading the country through the Brexit withdrawal and the pandemic, mean he’s “sitting on a goldmine”.
He said: “Most of his money will come from speaking engagements, the Mail and others – he could easily also have a talk show. And who would rule out an appearance on ‘I’m a Celebrity!’”
Mr Johnson’s former health secretary, Matt Hancock, was paid £320,000 for his 18-day stint in the jungle last season. His father, Stanley Johnson, also featured on the reality TV show back in 2017.
Mr Shalit said: “He could enjoy lots of success in TV. He’s someone who commands an audience. The world’s his oyster.”
According to Mr Thomas, there’s “no doubt” that Mr Johnson will return to politics, but “this is unlikely to happen before the next general election”.
Mr Shalit, who has made regular appearances on GB News, believes the Tories are likely to be “obliterated” in a national vote, and that the party could “implode”.
Therein the former leader could serve a purpose. He said: “If there’s one word that characterises Boris Johnson, it’s ‘winner’. And ultimately, he’s still young. If he wants to come back after the Conservatives lose the next election, he could. Boris Johnson may be seen as a saviour.”