Boris Johnson dismisses £250,000-a-year Telegraph column as 'chickenfeed'
Tuesday 14 July 2009
London Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed the £250,000-a-year he earns from a second job as "chicken feed".
Mr Johnson also insisted it was "wholly reasonable" for him to write newspaper columns on the side because he did them "very fast".
The comments risk infuriating millions of Londoners struggling to make ends meet amid the economic downturn.
And they are unlikely to please David Cameron, who has ordered his shadow cabinet to give up extra work in the run-up to the general election to show their "commitment".
Mr Johnson, who is paid nearly £140,000 for his day job, was quizzed over his lucrative contract with the Daily Telegraph during an interview for the BBC's HARDTalk programme.
He responded: "It's chicken feed."
Pressed on whether voters would agree with that description, the mayor said he was being "frivolous".
But he went on: "I happen to write extremely fast. I don't see why on a Sunday morning I shouldn't knock off an article, if someone wants to pay me for that article then that's their lookout and of course I make a substantial donation to charity.
"Maybe that money shouldn't go to charity, maybe you'd rather I didn't make those contributions to charity. It seems to me to be a wholly reasonable thing to do."
Mr Johnson said: "I think that frankly there's absolutely no reason at all why I should not, on a Sunday morning before I do whatever else I need to do on a Sunday morning, should not knock off an article as a way of relaxation."
Mr Johnson decided to continue with his columns for the Telegraph after being elected last year, but donates £50,000 from his annual fee to charities.
Asked whether Mr Cameron approved of his extra work, the mayor seemed oblivious to the instructions issued by his party leader.
"Well I'm not a member of his shadow cabinet and I'd like to see what the detail of that is," he said.
Labour's deputy leader on the London Assembly, John Biggs, said: "Londoners struggling through the recession will be astounded that their Mayor is so out of touch with reality.
"A quarter of a million pounds may be chicken-feed to him but the overwhelming majority of people in the capital can only dream of earnings like that.
"How can we have any faith in a Mayor who believes earning more than 10 times the majority of those whose interests he is supposed to represent amounts to nothing more than chicken-feed?"
- 1 Students heading off to 'charity challenge' grounded at Gatwick after travel firm goes bust
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Like Jennifer Aniston, I am no less of a woman because I am childless
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Californian drought is so severe it's 'causing the ground to move'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...
£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...