Boris Johnson drops £275,000-a-year Daily Telegraph column to focus on the day job - Press Gazette

Boris Johnson drops £275,000-a-year Daily Telegraph column to focus on the day job

Boris Johnson is to give up his £275,000-a-year column for the Daily Telegraph after being appointed foreign secretary.

But former Times journalist Michael Gove may now be in the market for more writing work after being sacked from the Cabinet by new Prime Minister Theresa May.

The weekly Daily Mail column of Gove’s wife Sarah Vine has been suspended since the end of June during his brief Tory leadership campaign.

Johnson’s weekly Telegraph column may have made him the UK’s best-paid journalist, in terms of hourly rate.

Johnson said in the register of MPs’ interests that he was paid £22,916.66 a month for ten hours work by the Telegraph, giving him an hourly rate of just under £2,300.

He was asked about how he justified continuing the column in addition to his £140,000-a-year job as London mayor in a BBC interview in 2009.

He quipped that the then £250,000-a-year fee was “chicken feed” and said: “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.”

Telegraph editor Chris Evans said: “Boris has been an outstanding columnist for The Daily Telegraph for many years, with a legion of devoted readers. We would like to thank him and wish him well in his role as Foreign Secretary.”

A spokesman for Johnson said: “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.

“It is expected that he will continue to write occasional comment pieces for a range of publications in his role as Foreign Secretary.”



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette


1 thought on “Boris Johnson drops £275,000-a-year Daily Telegraph column to focus on the day job”

  1. Hats off to Boris, if someone is daft enough to pay that kind of money for something ‘knocked off on a Sunday morning’ so be it. Trouble is many good writers have been axed by the Telegraph over the last few years on cost grounds, as it went through its nerdy computer silo phase. They seem to have hired a few spotty sixth-formers as replacements.

    I’d happily do a column for half the dosh, and my bar bill paid at El Vinos. but I’d always secretly worry, if anyone is still reading what was at one time a classic newspaper, stuffed full of stories.

    The last time I picked up a copy it seemed to be full of big empty spaces, mixed typography and huge pictures, plus the ‘Sunday morning knocked off pieces’ the copy (CONTENT! YOU MORON) still 6 on 8pt. only visible by those under the age of 45 with 20/20 vision.

    Now that should be enough, at the current Boris Index, for an expenses chit, for say, 300 Sovs?! How do I send this? Why are the buttons on my trusty old Nokia so small…

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