Boris Johnson slammed after breaching government rules over new Telegraph column

Posted On: 
17th July 2018

Boris Johnson has been criticised after it emerged he broke strict government rules by reclaiming his job as a newspaper columnist just days after quitting the Cabinet.

Boris Johnson was previously paid £275,000 for his Telegraph column
PA Images

The former Foreign Secretary returned to his weekly Daily Telegraph column after he resigned from the Cabinet over Theresa May's Brexit strategy last week.

But official rules state that ministers are expected to hold off on taking up new jobs for three months.

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Mr Johnson also failed to tell the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments - a watchdog set up to police the revolving door between government and the world of lobbying - he had accepted the role, as the ministerial code of conduct advises.

Jon Trickett, the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, told the Daily Mail: "Boris Johnson jumping straight from his role as a government minister to a job as a columnist makes a mockery of Acoba.

“If it was in anyway a functioning body, this kind of thing would be blocked. Acoba hasn't got the teeth to stop this behaviour. We urgently need a radical overhaul of the system.”

Cabinet ministers are expected to consult Acoba when taking up new jobs under the rules of the ministerial code.

But a spokesperson for the body told the paper it had not been contacted by the Tory heavyweight.

Mr Johnson was previously paid £275,000-a-year for the weekly column but stopped it when he took up the job at the Foreign Office in the wake of the EU referendum in 2016.

But he started again almost as soon as he quit the Government over the Brexit blueprint put forward by Theresa May.

In his first article this week he said: “I will resist – for now – the temptation to bang on about Brexit.”

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson refused to comment.