Boris Johnson received £1 million from a prolific political donor and crypto investor, prompting speculation that he will mount a bid to return to frontline politics in the coming months.
The former Prime Minister also earned more than £300,000 from two speaking engagements in December, taking his total earnings outside of parliament last year to more than £1.3 million.
Major political donor backs Johnson
Johnson, who was forced from office last summer, recorded a donation of £1 million from Christopher Harborne to the Office of Boris Johnson Ltd in the latest update to the MPs’ Register of Interests.
Harborne was among the donors who helped bankroll the Brexit Party and has also donated to the Conservatives. He donated more than £1 million to the Conservative Party last year, having previously donated over £10 million to the Brexit Party, now known as Reform, since 2019.
The private limited company established by the ex-PM does not carry out commercial business and solely functions as a private office to support him as a former prime minister. Johnson will also be entitled to claim up to £115,000 per year to support the work of his office through the controversial Public Duties Cost Allowance scheme.
Since leaving office last September, Johnson has declared more than £1 million in speaking fees. His most recent speech, at a Blockchain conference on 13 December, paid £253,880.90. Earlier that month he was paid £50,000 by housing company Ballymore Group for a speaking engagement.
He appeared alongside former US vice president Dick Cheney at the International Symposium on Blockchain Advancements in Singapore.
A number of other senior Conservatives earned large sums through speaking engagements last year, including Theresa May, Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock.
According to the parliamentary declarations, Johnson has been continuing to live at a property linked to wealthy Tory donor Lord Bamford.
He declared the “use of accommodation for me and my family from December 2022 to January 2023 at an estimated value of £10,000”, provided by Lord Anthony and Lady Carole Bamford.
Earlier in the year, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch paid for Johnson to travel to the US for a business meeting. Murdoch met with Johnson several times during his time as PM, including the last official meeting Johnson had before announcing his resignation.