Boris Johnson has told MPs he’s “very sorry” for failing to declare more than £52,000 in earnings on time.
A report by the House of Commons standards committee found that the former foreign secretary had registered nine payments totalling £52,722.80 after the 28-day deadline set for politicians and had therefore “breached the rules of the House”.
Speaking in the Commons on Thursday after the watchdog called on him to apologise, Johnson said many of the delayed payments were “unexpected foreign royalties”.
“I full accept that the delay was a breach of the House’s rules and though I’m grateful to the committee for recognising there was no intention to mislead the House and that I’ve been completely transparent, I therefore offer the House a full and unreserved apology,” he said.
The payments – which came from Johnson’s column in The Telegraph and book royalties – were the equivalent of almost 70% of the £77,379 pay cheque Johnson receives for being a backbench MP, the watchdog pointed out.
Delays in registering the earnings ranged from one week to almost three months.
The report from the committee came after the parliamentary commissioner for standards ruled that the late payments were neither minor nor inadvertent.
It was revealed last month that Johnson was paid £95,000 for giving a single two-hour speech to a New York finance company, who also paid for his travel and accommodation.
Meanwhile, it emerged that the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP takes home almost £23,000 a month for writing a weekly column in the The Telegraph, with Johnson estimating he spends around two-and-a-half hours writing each one.