Former UK PM Johnson Has Earned More Than $1m for Speeches Since Leaving Office

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech during an engagement to mark the completion of the Elizabeth Line at Paddington Station in London, Britain, May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been paid more than 1 million pounds ($1.24 million) to deliver four speeches since he left Downing Street just over three months ago, official data showed on Wednesday.

Johnson stood down as prime minister in early September after he lost the support of ministers and lawmakers following months of scandals, including parties at the heart of government when the rest of Britain was under a strict lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 58-year-old was paid 1,030,782 pounds for four speaking engagements in October and November, a rate of about 30,000 pounds an hour, according to the latest register of financial interests of members of parliament.

As a member of parliament, Johnson is required to declare external earnings, as well as the number of hours involved.

Johnson’s best paid work was a speech in New York to the U.S. finance firm Centerview Partners worth 277,724 pounds. The firm also provided transport and accommodation for Johnson and two members of his staff, and the registered time commitment was nine hours.

His other earnings were a “speaking engagement and VIP reception” with the Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times for which he was paid 261,652 pounds, as well as 215,276 pounds for a speech at the CNN Global Summit Lisbon, and 276,130 pounds for a Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers conference.

He also received donations-in-kind of accommodation from Conservative donors the Bamford family worth thousands of pounds, and had a trip to the U.S. worth over 11,000 pounds for a meeting funded by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

In October Johnson abandoned an attempt to reclaim the job he lost just weeks earlier following his successor Liz Truss’s brief tenure as prime minister.

After racing home from a holiday in the Caribbean, Johnson said he did not believe he could unify the party’s lawmakers.

Johnson, whose verbal flamboyance has long been one of his hallmarks, was widely expected to enter the speaking circuit after leaving office.

($1 = 0.8053 pounds)

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Crispian Balmer
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