Boris Johnson declared £1m donation from crypto investor in sign he won’t be stepping back from politics

Politics

Boris Johnson has become the number one most donated to MP this parliament after receiving a single donation of one million pounds.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had previously been the most donated to MP with £740,00 in multiple donations, Sky News’ Westminster Accounts tool showed.

But the money from crypto investor Christopher Harborne beat that in a single donation, and suggests the former prime minister has no intention of stepping down from politics any time soon.

Money from political donations is used to fund things like campaigning, staff, and office costs.

The Register of Members’ Financial Interests is where all MPs must declare any donations, wages or gifts.

Mr Johnson also earned £303,880 in speeches in December, according to updates to the register published on Thursday night.

He earned £50,000 from property development company the Ballymore Group for a seven-hour speaking engagement in London, and over a quarter of a million – £253,880,90 – from software company ParallelChain Lab for a nine-hour event in Singapore.

More on Boris Johnson

While making thousands in outside earnings, Mr Johnson also declared £20,000 from the Bamford family for use of their home for two months.

Lord Bamford is a Conservative donor, and the chairman of JCB.

Mr Johnson has been staying at his home since he was forced to resign as prime minister in September, the register of interest shows.

Search for your MP using the Westminster Accounts tool

All MPs are paid a base salary of £84,144, while prime ministers get an additional £79,936 for a total of £164,080.

However, MPs are allowed to earn extra money through second jobs, which include things like media appearances and speeches.

Westminster Accounts, a joint project between Sky News and Tortoise Media to shine a light on how money works in politics, found the majority of the extra earnings went to Tory politicians

Some changes into what second jobs MPs can have are due to come into effect later this year, with MPs to be banned from taking on work as political or parliamentary consultants from March.

One source involved in drafting the new rules suggested this could impact the second jobs of around 30 MPs.

But they will not prevent others from earning significant amounts for speeches, TV appearances and legal work.

Read more:
Boris Johnson’s large extra earnings criticised at PMQs

Westminster Accounts: 14 MPs given over £250,000 each in campaign donations since the last election
Rishi Sunak says ‘transparency really important’ as focus turns to MPs’ second jobs

Mr Johnson’s sudden increase in earnings after he resigned as prime minister come from only a handful of speaking commitments.

His predecessor Theresa May, who stepped down in 2019, has a lengthy list of speaking engagements, including £408,200 for six talks in California, as well as flights and accommodation for her and a member of staff.

A speech she gave to the World Travel and Tourism Council in November 2022 earnt her £107,600.

Her entry in the register of members’ interests makes no mention of the fact this £107,600 speech was delivered in Saudi Arabia – a country she blocked ministers and officials from visiting for a period while she was prime minister following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mrs May has said the money she earns goes into a company called the Office of Theresa May Limited, from which she pays herself £85,000 a year and the rest goes to support her charitable work and her staff.

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