Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson – a man who takes home almost £80,000 a year for being an MP and is paid £275,000 a year to write a column for the Telegraph – said he has sacrificed his earning power to be a politician.
Asked at an event Friday in Darlington about a time he had set his self-interest aside for the good of the country, Johnson told the crowd: “It’s embarrassing but true that it is obviously possible to make more money by not being a full-time politician.
“I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but you have to make sacrifices sometimes – that is the right thing to do.”
Johnson – who is thought to have pocketed more than £140,000 a year in parliamentary salary when he was foreign secretary – is currently paid £79,468 for his role as a backbench Tory MP.
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Meanwhile, HuffPost UK revealed last month that the former mayor of London – who is paid £275,000 each year to pen columns for the Daily Telegraph – had earned at least £2.7million writing for the paper since he first became a politician in 2001.
It also emerged in November that Johnson was paid £95,000 for a single two-hour speech to a New York finance company – plus free travel and accommodation.
As well as his money woes, the contender to replace Theresa May in Number 10 said he had sacrificed his ability to “rapidly complete” a book he is writing about Shakespeare.
“I can honestly say that will grieve me as I love Shakespeare and I love writing about him,” Johnson told the hustings.
“I will be depriving myself of the joy of completing that work about Shakespeare as fast as I would like and I will be depriving the reading public of an illustration on Shakespeare I’m sure they’ve been crying out for.”
The results of the Tory leadership contest will be revealed on July 22, with Johnson and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt the final two in the race to Downing Street.