Rupert Murdoch paid for Boris Johnson to travel to a business meeting in Montana while Parliament was sitting

Photo: Mark Hall/NationalWorld
The former PM also earned more than £275,000 for giving a speech to an insurance brokers conference

Three senior Conservative MPs earned almost £400,000 from speaking arrangements last month, according to the register of members’ financial interests.

Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Matt Hancock were paid amounts ranging from £2,500 to £32,000 per hour to deliver speeches.

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Johnson’s first lucrative speech since leaving office was delivered to the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) in the US, but the former PM also attended a business meeting in the US while Parliament was sitting, with the trip funded by Rupert Murdoch.

It comes after former cabinet minister Sajid Javid earned almost the equivalent of a ministerial salary for giving two speeches to major international banks.

Johnson earned £32k per hour for speaking engagement

Johnson addressed a conference held by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) in October, giving a 30-minute speech and a 45-minute “fireside chat” at the event in Colorado Springs.

Reports suggested he had been paid around 150,000 US dollars for his speech, but an update to the MPs’ register of interests published on Thursday showed the full fee was £276,130.

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The entry in Johnson’s register stated he also received transport and accommodation from the CIAB for himself and two members of staff.

His entry also declared the money was in exchange for eight hours and 30 minutes’ work, giving him an hourly rate of almost £32,500.

Another entry in Johnson’s register of interests showed media mogul Rupert Murdoch paid £11,559 to fly Johnson to a business meeting in Montana and provide him with “accommodation and hospitality”. Parliament was sitting at the time.

The entry did not say who Johnson met with, but Murdoch is reported to have bought a large ranch in Montana in December 2021.

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Johnson’s speaking fee was considerably higher than that commanded by his predecessor Theresa May, who declared income from two speaking engagements in Thursday’s update.

May received £97,000 for speaking at an event hosted by private equity firm Apax Partners.

She also received £8,000 from World 50, a “private community for senior-most executives” based in the US, for an appearance at a virtual speaking event that took her one hour.

According to her register of interests, income from May’s speaking engagements is used to pay her staff, maintain her “ongoing involvement in public life” and support her charitable work. The former prime minister draws an annual salary from her private office of £85,000.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock declared a payment of £10,000 for appearing at a fintech conference where he discussed how the Government should support cryptocurrencies.

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