Boris Johnson has confirmed he is joining the Daily Mail as a columnist but could already be in hot water with parliamentary authorities over the job.
The former prime minister – who vowed to offer uncensored views – could again find himself under scrutiny as Whitehall’s anti-corruption watchdog said he had not applied for clearance.
The chairman of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), Tory peer Lord Eric Pickles, is writing to Johnson about his new role.
The right-leaning outlet confirmed the news on Twitter today, saying it is “delighted” to welcome “one of the wittiest and most original writers in the business”.
In a video shared alongside the announcement, Johnson said he is “thrilled” to contribute to “those illustrious pages”, and promised to deliver “completely unexpurgated stuff”.
Although he quipped he will only cover politics when “I absolutely have to”, it gives him a powerful platform to take shots at Rishi Sunak with whom he has been publicly clashing.
Johnson’s column will appear in the paper every Saturday.
There has been speculation about whether Johnson would return to his journalism roots after he dramatically quit as an MP last week ahead of a report that found he lied to Parliament with his denials of lockdown rule-breaking in No10 while prime minister.
Before he became party leader, Johnson received a £275,000 salary to write for the Telegraph, which will likely pale in comparison to the sum he will pocket as a former premier.
But Acoba suggested it was not notified about Mr Johnson’s new role.
Former ministers who have left the government in the last two years must apply to the independent watchdog before taking up a new appointment or role.
An Acoba spokeswoman told the PA news agency: “We haven’t had an application and we will be writing to Johnson.”
A source close to Johnson insisted he had written to Acoba, but did not say when the letter was sent.
The former Tory leader joins the ranks of his ally Nadine Dorries, who has also announced her exit from the Commons, who writes a weekly Tuesday column for the Daily Mail.
The former long-standing Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was also once tipped to be on the list but was reportedly removed during the House of Lords vetting process.
By Sophie Wingate and Sam Blewett, PA Political Staff