Boris Johnson is to give up his £275,000-a-year column for the Daily Telegraph after being appointed foreign secretary.
But former Times journalist Michael Gove may now be in the market for more writing work after being sacked from the Cabinet by new Prime Minister Theresa May.
The weekly Daily Mail column of Gove’s wife Sarah Vine has been suspended since the end of June during his brief Tory leadership campaign.
Johnson’s weekly Telegraph column may have made him the UK’s best-paid journalist, in terms of hourly rate.
Johnson said in the register of MPs’ interests that he was paid £22,916.66 a month for ten hours work by the Telegraph, giving him an hourly rate of just under £2,300.
He was asked about how he justified continuing the column in addition to his £140,000-a-year job as London mayor in a BBC interview in 2009.
He quipped that the then £250,000-a-year fee was “chicken feed” and said: “I don’t see why, on a Sunday morning I shouldn’t knock off an article.
“If someone wants to pay me for that article, then that’s their lookout – and of course I make a substantial donation to charity.”
Telegraph editor Chris Evans said: “Boris has been an outstanding columnist for The Daily Telegraph for many years, with a legion of devoted readers. We would like to thank him and wish him well in his role as Foreign Secretary.”
A spokesman for Johnson said: “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.
“It is expected that he will continue to write occasional comment pieces for a range of publications in his role as Foreign Secretary.”