Boris Johnson has become the highest-paid MP this year as politicians declare an eye-watering £8 million in earnings on top of their parliamentary salaries.
The former Prime Minister accounted for more than a quarter of the outside earnings declared by MPs over the past twelve months, raking in a whopping £2.3 million. This comes in addition to the salary of £84,000 that he receives as an MP.
Politicians receive extra earnings for things such as second jobs, speeches, television appearances, and books. Johnson received £1.8 million in speaking fees, and £510,000 for his upcoming memoirs.
The majority of the money has come in since Johnson left Downing Street in September, when he was forced to resign following a series of scandals - such as Partygate and the furore surrounding Chris Pincher.
It comes as it emerged that the tax payer could end up spending more than £222,000 on legal fees defending the ex-Prime Minister, as he faces a House of Commons inquiry into whether he misled Parliament over Partygate.
Of the £8.07 million outside earnings declared, just three MPs account for half of the money: Johnson, former Prime Minister Theresa May, and former attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox.
May declared £965,000 in speaking fees, while Cox earned £880,290 from his legal work. The majority of May’s earnings are reportedly used to fund her private office and charitable endeavours.
Other high earners include former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has declared £442,697 in the past year. He received £320,000 for his controversial appearance on ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’, when he spent three weeks in the jungle in Australia while Parliament was sitting. This meant he still received his parliamentary salary.
Rishi Sunak suspended Hancock as a Conservative Party MP after it was announced that he had joined the reality series, saying he was “disappointed” in the West Suffolk MP’s decision.
David Lammy was the only Labour MP to make the Top 10, declaring £108,259 in outside earnings. This included £48,908 from speeches, and £53,500 for presenting shows on LBC.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer previously defended the shadow foreign secretary’s extra earnings, but admitted that rules on second jobs need to be stricter. Currently, MPs are allowed second jobs - so long as they are not a minister with the power to enact executive orders in their specific areas.
There is no limit on the amount of work MPs can take on outside of Parliament, or how much they can earn. In terms of what areas they can work in, there is a ban on paid political advocacy.
Elsewhere in the declarations, 39 MPs were paid more than the UK median salary of £31,000 solely in outside earnings from second jobs and other ventures. However, 409 MPs declare no extra earnings at all.