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Boris Johnson quits his £247,000-a-year newspaper column following Foreign Secretary appointment

His book on Shakespeare has also been put on hold

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 18 July 2016 16:57 BST
Over the course of four years, Mr Johnson was paid £987,097 for his Daily Telegraph column
Over the course of four years, Mr Johnson was paid £987,097 for his Daily Telegraph column (AFP/Getty)

Boris Johnson has quit his lucrative £247,000-a-year newspaper column following his appointment to the cabinet.

The former Mayor of London will stop penning his weekly piece for The Daily Telegraph following his appointment as Foreign Secretary.

This signals the end of 20 years working with the newspaper although Mr Johnson is expected to continue writing intermittent comment pieces for a number of newspapers as Foreign Secretary. These will not be in a paid capacity.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson told Press Association: “Whilst Mr Johnson has enjoyed a close working relationship with The Daily Telegraph for over 20 years, it would not be appropriate for him to continue writing his long-standing column for the newspaper given his new role as Foreign Secretary”.

Mr Johnson has also temporarily put his book on Shakespeare on hold. The book, which he received an advance of around £90,000 for, was due to come out in October but Hodder & Stoughton has postponed its publication.

Documents released earlier this year show that Mr Johnson’s external earnings from writing rather than politics led to him paying nearly £1 million in tax in four years.

Over the course of four years, Mr Johnson was paid £987,097 for his Telegraph column (This averages at £247,000 a year) and his book royalties brought in an additional £469,385.

Mr Johnson has written a number of books, including a biography of Winston Churchill.

Prior to embarking on a career in politics, he worked in journalism. He was assistant editor of The Telegraph in the mid-90s and was editor of The Spectator between 1999 and 2005.

A representative for Mr Johnson did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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