Wed. May 22nd, 2019

Boris Johnson apologises for declaring £52k earnings late

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Boris Johnson has apologised to parliament for failing to declare nearly £53,000 in earnings on time.

The former foreign secretary registered nine payments totalling £52,722 – nearly 70% of his MP salary – after the 28-day deadline, the House of Commons’ committee on standards found.

The payments were for royalties from books Mr Johnson has written and payments from The Daily Telegraph for his weekly column.

They date back to September 2017 until 1 October 2018 and the longest delay was 11 weeks, while the shortest was a week.

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Kathryn Stone, parliamentary commissioner for standards, said the late declarations “suggested a lack of attention to, or regard for, the House’s requirements” and the breach was “neither inadvertent or minor” – as Mr Johnson had claimed.

The standards committee decided that an apology by Mr Johnson to the Commons on a “point of order” was an appropriate sanction.

Mr Johnson stood up in the middle of a debate on Brexit to say he was “very sorry” the payments were declared late and that he “fully accepts” the delay breached parliament’s rules.

A report into his earnings revealed the Uxbridge MP expects to be paid £22,916 a month by The Daily Telegraph for four articles, which take him a total of 10 hours.

He entered into the Telegraph contract, which lasts for a year until July 2019, two days after quitting as foreign secretary on 9 July this year.

His first payment from the newspaper was received on 13 August but was not registered until 17 September.

The MP has written 11 books, translated into several languages, and receives royalties worth thousands of pounds each month.

Mr Johnson’s largest royalty payment listed in the report was £15,372 on 29 September last year. He failed to declare it until 20 December 2017.

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Ms Stone added: “Having made five late registrations in December 2017, Mr Johnson did not take steps to avoid a recurrence until I initiated an inquiry in October 2018.

“The steps Mr Johnson has since taken appear sufficient to avoid a recurrence and he has expressed a willingness to adopt additional measures if they prove necessary.”

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