MPs are on to an earner cashing in on journalism

Boris Johnson heads up the earnings league for MPs who are cashing in on journalism, according to the latest Register of Members Interests.

It reveals that the MP salary of the shadow minister for higher education is eclipsed by an annual windfall of £245,000-£250,000 for his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph. He also registered earnings of up to £5,000 for articles in GQ.

Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott, is another high earner and the only MP to give exact amounts of what she is paid.

She has accumulated £82,126 since January 2006 through a wide variety of journalistic activities.

These include: £1,600 for weekly articles in the Evening Standard in January this year, £600 for bi-weekly articles in The Voice between January and March and £5,600 for presenting BBC One programme This Week. She also declared £900 for an article in The Times.

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett declared £100,000- £105,000 for the serialisation of his book The Blunkett Tapes in The Guardian and the Daily Mail.

He also revealed that he is paid between £145,000 and £150,000 for his weekly column in The Sun.

In addition to the £145,000- £150,000 George Galloway was paid for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, the Bethnal Green and Bow MP declared £45,000 for his slot on Talk Sport.

Ann Widdecombe, Conservative MP for Maidstone and The Weald, made £25,000- 30,000 for a BBC series as a roving agony aunt as well as £35,000- 40,000 for her weekly Daily Express column and £5,000-£10,000 for documentary work on Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

Tory Michael Gove (Surrey Heath) earned £60-65,000 for articles published in The Times and Labour's Alan Milburn (Darlington) claimed fees for freelance articles, including £5,000- £10,000 for pieces in the News of the World and in The Times.

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