Out of the spotlight? What's next for Boris Johnson

The former PM is unlikely to slip into the background. Here are some of the ways he could remain in the public eye

FILE - Boris Johnson leaves his house in London, on March 22, 2023. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament about the lockdown-flouting parties that undermined his credibility and contributed to his downfall, a committee of lawmakers said Thursday, June 15, 2023 after a year-long investigation. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, File)
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was found to have deliberately misled Parliament about lockdown-flouting parties at Downing Street. (AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

What's happening? Former prime minister Boris Johnson will take up a role as the Daily Mail's new columnist, having stepped down from his role as an MP after he was told he would be sanctioned over the Partygate report released this week.

Johnson was found to have misled Parliament over gatherings that took place at Downing Street during the coronavirus lockdown, and would have been sanctioned with a 90-day ban from the Commons had he not already quit.

The ban would have been long enough to trigger a recall petition, and likely a by-election, meaning Johnson jumped before he was pushed.

As well as continuing his journalism career with a new column at the Mail, Johnson is understood to be mulling a future political comeback.

Yahoo News looks at what could be next for the man once referred to as the "comeback king".


He may have been sacked from his first journalist job for falsifying a quote, but that didn't stop Johnson from enjoying a successful career as a writer before (and even during) his time in politics.

Up next for the former Telegraph columnist is a column at the Daily Mail, which announced its newest recruit less than a week after Johnson sensationally quit his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat over the Partygate report.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Mail wrote of the reported six-figure deal: "We are delighted to announce Boris Johnson as our new columnist.

"Famed as one of the wittiest and most original writers in the business, Boris’s column will appear in the Daily Mail every Saturday and you’ll be able to get a preview on MailOnline and The Mail+ on Fridays."

The publication also posted a video featuring Johnson, and promised that his debt column would be landing at 5pm and would be "full of surprises".

However, his new role has already landed him in hot water after it emerged he did not inform the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) of his new role - something MPs who have left the role within the last two years must do - until 30 minutes before the announcement.

Acoba said the last-minute declaration was a "clear breach" of the rules.

Public speaking

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, and his wife Carrie during to the official G7 summit welcome ceremony at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The Group of Seven leading economic powers are meeting in Germany for their annual gathering Sunday through Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
What is next for Boris Johnson, right, and his wife Carrie? (AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

As many high-profile politicians know, there's some serious money to be made on the public speaking circuit - especially if you happen to be a former prime minister.

Former leaders David Cameron and Tony Blair have made a very lucrative career of no longer being in charge - with Cameron's earnings from public speaking and media in 2019 raking in more than £800,000.

Johnson is reportedly gearing up to continue on the speaking circuit, where he is likely to cash in. In the six months after leaving office, Johnson netted almost £5 million in outside earnings from his MP role - much of which came from bookings for future speaking engagements, according to Open Democracy.

According to the website, figures suggest "Johnson’s advance covers around 14 quarter-of-a–million-pound speeches, and could see over £1.1 million pounds come in on top of the advance".

Book deal

Johnson is already a prolific publisher of words, having written everything from an asinine guide to parenting (The Perils of the Pushy Parents: A Cautionary Tale) to political biographies and even a novel (Seventy-Two Virgins) described by Guardian critic Mark Lawson as using "sexist, racist and fundamentally undiplomatic" tropes.

Nonetheless, an anticipated political memoir has landed him a £510,000 advance from HarperCollins in a total deal that could be worth around £6 million.

Johnson is also expected to continue writing books on topics outside of his experience inside No.10. In fact, he has already been paid an advance of more than £100,000 by Hodder & Stoughton for a book about Shakespeare that is thought to be underway.

Boris Johnson before signing copies of his new book 'The Churchill Factor' at Waterstones in the Leadenhall Market in the City of London.
Boris Johnson pictured before signing one of his many books, 'The Churchill Factor', in London. (Alamy) (Richard Gray)

Political future

Johnson's political future has hung in the balance more than once - and every time his political career appears to have come to an end, he has bounced back. So, it's no huge surprise that he is rumoured to be considering another comeback.

Among the ways he may seek to re-enter the political fray is with an independent run for London mayor in a bid to unseat Sadiq Khan, the Financial Times has reported.

“I hear he is now considering standing as an independent in next year’s London mayoral election," Cameron's former policy adviser Baroness Camilla Cavendish wrote.

"The tragedy is that he was quite good at that job — and some of those on his honours list are people who worked for him then. He was just never able to rise to the heights required of a prime minister.”

However, any future run for office may have been marred somewhat not only by the Partygate findings but also by his recent failure to disclose his Daily Mail role to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba).

In 2018, he was formerly criticised by Acoba when he took on a job at the Daily Telegraph writing a column after quitting as foreign secretary in Theresa May's cabinet. Acoba called his behaviour "unacceptable".

Boris Johnson: fresh questions as Daily Mail signs ex-PM as columnist (The Guardian, 2-min read)