New Delhi/London: American-born British Prime Minister Boris Johnson charged hefty amounts from media outlets for lectures and writing articles when he was just a parliamentarian. The highest amount ever paid to him was from an Indian media outlet. This had raised eyebrows of government authorities in both the countries.
Just for a three-hour engagement, when he was a parliamentarian, he received £122,899.74 (Rs 1.13 crore) for a lecture during India Today Conclave, 2019.
According to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests of UK Parliament, Boris Johnson received around Rs 1.13 crore from an Indian Media House — Living Media India Limited. “On March 22, 2019, received £122,899.74 from Living Media India Limited, K-9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110001, for a speech to India Today on 2 March 2019. Hours: 3 hours. Transport and accommodation also provided,” Register of Members’ Financial Interests stated.
The register of UK Parliament is to provide information about any financial interest which a member has, or any benefit which he or she receives, which others might reasonably consider to influence his or her actions or words as a Member of Parliament.
The Conservative Party politician became the United Kingdom Prime Minister on July 24, 2019.
An ardent backer of Brexit, Johnson received £22,916.66 a month for writing articles for the Telegraph Media Group Ltd, based in London. He claimed he used to spend 10 hours in a month. He wrote from July 11, 2018 until July 10, 2019.
From The Spectator, based in London, he received £800 for an article on September 28, 2018. For this article he spent two hours. Again he received £350 from The Spectator for an article on December 21, 2018. He spent two hours for writing the article.
From Associated Newspapers Ltd based in London, he received £2,000 for article on October 9, 2018. He had spent two hours for writing an article.
Johnson received Rs 34,500 from an article from The Washington Post. “On 15 February 2019, received £376.05 from The Washington Post, 1301 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20071, for an article. Hours: 2 hrs,” it stated.
Interestingly, Johnson was born in New York City and he gave up his US citizenship in 2016.
The British Prime Minister began his career as a journalist. He started as a reporter for The Times in 1987, but was asked to leave over some alleged reports. Thereafter he had joined The Daily Telegraph and served as correspondent covering the European Community and later as an Assistant Editor. In 1994, Johnson became a political columnist for The Spectator, and in 1999 he was named the magazine’s editor.
He became a Member of Parliament in 2001, and in 2008 mounted a successful bid to become Mayor of London. He served as the two-time elected mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 and as Secretary of for Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2018 under UK Prime Minister Theresa May.