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Daily Mail calling you? Boris Johnson weighs offers for his return to journalism | Boris Johnson




Three days before he becomes Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s final column for the Daily Telegraph has been published: a call for Britain to heed the lessons of the 1969 moon landings and adopt a dynamic spirit when implementing Brexit.

Such political insight didn’t come cheap, with Johnson pocketing a $275,000 salary for working 10 hours a month on his weekly op-eds.

But, with the Telegraph’s headlines having grown increasingly lukewarm towards the Prime Minister following the Partygate scandal, Johnson may have to find a new home if he is to return to journalism after leaving Number 10.

He may have other options: Multiple Daily Mail sources said Johnson had been approached to write a column for the paper when he leaves Downing Street.

Such an arrangement could cement the close ties between the Prime Minister and the Mail’s headlines with potential benefits for everyone involved. There has been continued speculation that Johnson is preparing to give a peerage to Paul Dacre, the editor of parent company The Daily Mails in his resignation honors list. That could help appease Dacre, after Johnson failed to secure him the post of media regulator to head Ofcom.

At the same time, the prime minister is looking for new sources of income, as his salary will be halved to 84,000 when he leaves office. He also faces the consequences of a costly divorce and the cost of caring for multiple children.

Downing Street declined to say whether Johnson had been offered a role by the newspaper, while a Daily Mail spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Johnson had a long association with the Daily Telegraph, where he wrote a weekly column throughout his political career. He once described the 275,000 salary for that second job as chicken feed, but he may be looking for such income when he loses the Prime Minister’s salary.

Johnson’s current close relationship with the Mail is a quick turnaround from last autumn, when the paper often criticized the prime minister under former editor Geordie Greig.

Greig was replaced by Ted Verity, an acolyte of Dacre who clearly expressed his contempt for the previous regime. Veritys wife Joanne Hegarty has been friends with Carrie Johnson and posted on Instagram to have been invited to number 10 by the Prime Minister’s wife.

Over the past few months, the Mail has staunchly defended the prime minister against the Partygate scandal, launched relentless attacks on Tory MPs who criticized Johnson and pushed hard for Liz Truss to beat Rishi Sunak as prime minister.

Until the very end, the Mail continued to back Johnson even when other pro-Tory publications questioned the prime ministers’ ability to stay in office. When finally forced to resign by Tory MPs, the paper ran a front page asking: What did they do?

On Monday, the Mail published a front-page commentary calling on Tory MPs to drop a Commons privileges committee investigation into Johnson. Halting the inquiry would make it easier for Johnson to pursue other lucrative sources of income and ensure he is not kicked out of parliament in a recall by-election.

The Prime Minister is in line for millions of pounds in speaking costs after leaving office, as well as money from his much-delayed Shakespeare biography. He is also looking for a new home, having put the Camberwell home he owns with his wife on the market for 1.6m.

If Johnson joins the Daily Mail, it would end a long association with the Daily Telegraph, which gave him a second chance as a young journalist after he was sacked by the Times for fabricating a quote. Johnson became the Telegraphs’ star correspondent in Brussels, writing about absurd EU regulations that paved the way for Brexit before returning home to become a political columnist and enter politics.

Yet in recent months the Telegraph has been less than supportive of the Prime Minister, running critical articles and far less enthusiastic editorials than the Daily Mail.




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