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Boris Johnson joins Daily Mail as columnist but ‘did not inform’ Whitehall’s anti-corruption watchdog

16 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Photo Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has confirmed he is joining the Daily Mail as a columnist but could already be in hot water with parliamentary authorities over the job.

The former prime minister – who has vowed to offer uncensored views – could again find himself under scrutiny after Whitehall’s anti-corruption watchdog said he had not applied for clearance.

The chairman of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), Tory peer Lord Eric Pickles, is writing to Mr Johnson about his new role.

The right-leaning outlet confirmed the news on Twitter on Friday, saying it is “delighted” to welcome “one of the wittiest and most original writers in the business”.

In a video shared alongside the announcement, Mr Johnson said he is “thrilled” to contribute to “those illustrious pages”, and promised to deliver “completely unexpurgated stuff”.

Although he quipped he will only cover politics when “I absolutely have to”, the column gives him a powerful platform to take shots at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with whom he has been publicly clashing.

Mr Johnson’s column will appear in the paper every Saturday.


There has been speculation about whether Mr Johnson would return to his journalism roots after he dramatically quit as an MP last week ahead of a report that found he lied to Parliament with his denials of lockdown rule-breaking in No 10 while prime minister.

Before he became party leader, Mr Johnson received a £275,000 salary to write for the Telegraph, which will likely pale in comparison to the sum he will pocket as a former premier.

But Acoba suggested it was not notified about Mr Johnson’s new role.

Former ministers who have left the Government in the last two years must apply to the independent watchdog before taking up a new appointment or role.

An Acoba spokeswoman told the PA news agency: “We haven’t had an application and we will be writing to Mr Johnson.”

A source close to Mr Johnson insisted he has written to Acoba, but did not say when the letter was sent.

The former Tory leader joins the ranks of his staunch ally Nadine Dorries, who writes a weekly Tuesday column for the Daily Mail.

The former culture secretary, who has also announced her exit from the Commons, used her most recent piece to suggest “sinister forces” were behind the decision to exclude her from Mr Johnson’s controversial resignation honours list.

The former long-standing Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was also once tipped to be on the list but was reportedly removed during the House of Lords vetting process.

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10 months ago

If Boris Trump has said it I’m not sure if I believe it

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
10 months ago

Johnson “returning to his journalism roots”.

So that would be going back to the first thing from which he was sacked for lying.

10 months ago

Another example of the rules that apply and are followed by the rest of us that are ignored by the Tory elite.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
10 months ago

A right wing fascist going to a right wing fascist newspaper

John Hammond
John Hammond
10 months ago

Not in the least surprised to see the Daily Heil picking up the rubbish from the bottom of the barrel.

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