Boris Johnson collects £2.4m advance for US speaking engagements

·2-min read
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Getty Images)
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has claimed £2.4million ahead of a speaking tour of the United States, according to the latest register of interest for the MP.

The former prime minister, 58, was paid the advance by the prestigious Harry Walker agency which also boasts Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serena Williams among their exclusive clients.

The Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP’s profile at the agency reads: “Mr Johnson believes technology, driven by free market democracies, will ultimately defeat our biggest challenges on health, science, and global warming.

“Mr Johnson is sought-after for his illuminating insights on global security, the world economy, and his continued work supporting freedom around the world.”

Listing his achievements as unlocking the economic benefits of Brexit and a fast vaccine rollout, it adds: “Mr Johnson is the kind of politician and visionary thinker who takes risks for the principles of democracy, freedom, and free markets, and stands alongside those fighting against authoritarian regimes.”

His stateside tour would be a welcome distraction from calls to examine his role in the appointment of Richard Sharp as BBC chairman after Sharp helped get him a £800,000 loan from his own distant cousin.

The former prime minister “himself was conflicted” in the process, according to Sir Peter Riddell, who also said questions remain about the loan made to him.

Mr Johnson recommended Mr Sharp for the influential job after Mr Sharp informed him he would be telling the Cabinet Secretary about his friend Sam Blyth’s offer to help the then-prime minister with his financial troubles.

Mr Sharp resigned as BBC chairman on Friday after barrister Adam Heppinstall KC’s review found him to have broken the rules by failing to disclose he played a role in getting Mr Johnson an £800,000 loan guarantee.