Boris Johnson gives up lucrative column

Boris Johnson. Picture: HANNAH MCKAY / REUTERS
Boris Johnson. Picture: HANNAH MCKAY / REUTERS

Britain’s new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has given up the lucrative newspaper column, which he had used for years to mock world leaders, his spokesman said yesterday.

The leading Brexit campaigner was paid £250 000 (R4.7-million) a year for his weekly article in the Daily Telegraph, which he continued writing during his eight-year tenure as mayor of London.

He used the column to showcase his rapier wit, but some of his barbs – including comparing White House hopeful Hillary Clinton with a “sadistic nurse” – came back to haunt him when he was named to the post last week.

“Whilst Mr Johnson has enjoyed a close working relationship with The Daily Telegraph for over 20 years, it would not be appropriate for him to continue writing his long-standing column for the newspaper given his new role as foreign secretary,” his spokesman said.

Telegraph Media Group editor Chris Evans said: “Boris has been an outstanding columnist for The Daily Telegraph for many years, with a legion of devoted readers.”

He wished him well in his new job.

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