Boris Johnson Rakes In £160,000 Amid Tory Leadership Race Speculation

Rachel Wearmouth

Boris Johnson has raked in more than £160,000 in donations and speaking fees, swelling his war chest to fight a Tory leadership contest. 

Updates to MPs’ register of interests show that the former foreign secretary was handed a £8,000 by manufacturer JCB - adding to a previous £29,000 from the firm. 

Johnson also earned huge fees for making speeches, the register shows. He made £38,250 in just two and a half hours speaking for Citigroup Global Markets Ltd and £122,900 pounds from New Delhi-based Living Media India Ltd. to give a speech to the India Today conference, where he spoke for just three hours. 

It comes amid heightened speculation that Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to stand down as leader, triggering a contest to replace her. 

Of other leadership contenders, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab listed a £10,000 gift from a private donor, while Environment Secretary Michael Gove added a donation of £5,000 pounds.

Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has ruled himself out of the race, was paid twelve bottles of champagne for a two-hour speaking engagement with Global and Media and Entertainment Ltd. 

May cannot be toppled until December, due to Tory Party rules which say that leaders cannot face a repeat confidence vote within 12 months. 

She has pledged to Tory MPs, however, that she plans to stand down once Brexit is delivered. 

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Thursday refused to rule out standing in any contest, telling journalists at an event in central London they must “wait and see”. 

Other contenders for the job are thought to include Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.