Former prime minister Boris Johnson touched down in the USA on Tuesday as the ex-Tory leader gave a speech to an insurance industry group on Tuesday afternoon, thereby reportedly collecting around £150,000 for a 30 mins speech.
Johnson addressed conference delegates in Colorado Springs, roughly at the same time while the House of Commons was in session more than 5,500 miles away.
After the 30 mins speech, which was followed by a so-called fireside chat’, the former PM reportedly started a family holiday.
His travel plans meant that he missed a crucial vote on repealing his own National Insurance rise, which took place on Tuesday evening, lunch time in Colorado, according to various reports, including the Daily Mirror.
“Most of his constituents might be a bit perplexed that when the nation is in an economic crisis and families are facing hikes in food and energy costs and mortgages, Mr Johnson decides to take yet another holiday from parliament,” Labour MP and Standards Committee chairman Chris Bryant said.
Macron’s wine with Merkel
Addressing the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Colorado Springs, Johnson revealed he once sneaked off with former German chancellor Angela Merkel to share a bottle gifted to them by the current French president, Emanuel Macron.
While one-off speeches and talks are allowed under current parliamentary rules, in response to Johnson’s speech, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “ Boris Johnson might claim that this was just a one-off. But the rules state that ex-Ministers planning paid-for speaking gigs, joining agency circuits or scribing newspaper columns must submit an application before accepting them.”
She added: “The disgraced former Prime Minister and now part-time MP once again has questions to answer about whether he has followed the rules he was once responsible for.”
“The anti-corruption watchdog was already toothless, but under the Tories, it’s been muzzled and neutered, leaving an open door to former Ministers who want to line their pockets as soon as they leave office.”Labour leader Angela Rayner
In a bizarre twist, the Switzerland-based agency Premium Speakers removed Johnson from their speakers list after the sitting MP’s office insisted he is not in any way connected to them.
Life after Downing Street
City A.M. reported recently that Johnson is busy job hunting as his time in Number 10 has ended.
Johnson, who previously wrote for the Daily Telegraph on a salary of £275,000 a month, is reportedly looking for a new gig when he ends his term.
In fact, in August he was accused of “pursuing his future pay packet” while still in office, amid reports he had already sealed a deal join the Daily Mail as a writer.
Sources linked Johnson to the Daily Mail after the Telegraph gave a lukewarm reception to the PM in wake of partygate.
This came as the Prime Minister faced criticism for taking two foreign holidays during his last month in office, while the country suffered with soaring inflation and a cost of living crisis.
The Conservative leader was forced to resign this Summer following a cabinet coup.
When approached by City A.M., no one at Johnson’s constituency office was available to comment.