Boris Johnson is to continue with his journalism as the new Mayor of London when he starts writing his Daily Telegraph column this summer, reportedly earning him £250,000 a year on top of his £137,000 salary
The quarter of a million figure appeared in last night’s Evening Standard – though the Mayor’s press office could not confirm or deny the figure today. Newly-appointed press spokesman and former BBC journalist Guto Harri told the Standard: ‘When we know the sum, we will declare it”.
The mayor will donate about £25,000 for journalism bursaries for low-income London students to study at the London College of Communication, though details of the scheme have yet to be announced.
Johnson will also write a series of columns in local London newspapers and several publishers have expressed an interest, though the mayor’s office said today that talks are ongoing and no firm plans have been made.
The Conservative mayor, and former editor of the Spectator, stopped writing his weekly Telegraph column for the paper in January after launching his successful campaign.
But after scrapping The Londoner, the free, monthly Greater London Authority newspaper founded by former mayor Ken Livingstone, Johnson is now seeking other ways to communicate with Londoners.
Johnson joined the Telegraph as Brussels correspondent in 1989 and was its chief political commentator from 1994 until 1999 when he became editor of the Spectator, which he left in 2005.
Johnson and Hari are not the only journalists to have a senior role at City Hall – former Sunday Telegraph editor Patience Wheatcroft has been chosen as head of a ‘forensic audit group’which will investigate claims of mismanagement at the GLA and the London Development Agency.