Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Boris Johnson creates post-PM work companies

Boris Johnson has set up a new private company to support his work as a former Prime Minister and will have up to £115,000 a year in public funding at his disposal.

The office of Boris Johnson Ltd was incorporated into Companies House on Monday – with the ousted Tory leader going by his full name, Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson.

The limited company will not do any commercial business and will only operate as a private office to support him as a former prime minister, a source said.

Mr Johnson was replaced by Liz Truss after he resigned as Conservative leader in July and was ousted by his own MPs for his handling of a series of scandals, including Partygate.

As a former Prime Minister, he is entitled to up to £115,000 a year to run his office under a scheme to support No10’s ex-residents who remain active in public life.

The public funding serves to cover office and secretarial costs arising from their special position and does not apply to their private or parliamentary tasks.

It is unclear how much of the civil service allowance Mr Johnson will claim, with costs being reimbursed after expenditure is proven.

Listed as a director of the company is Shelley Williams-Walker, a longtime ally who was operations manager at No. 10 under Mr. Johnson.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “The Boris Johnson Ltd office will support Boris Johnson’s private office in line with similar structures set up by former Prime Ministers.”

It is not yet known how active Mr Johnson intends to be in frontline politics. Allies have suggested he might consider another push to become prime minister in the future as Ms Truss and the Tory party struggle with terrible poll numbers.

Former Tory Prime Minister Theresa May made more than £450,000 last year from after-dinner speeches. Former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair is believed to have earned the most from a single speech, having received £237,000 for an engagement in China in 2007.

Mr Johnson is still facing an inquiry by MPs from the Privileges Committee this autumn into whether or not he has told the truth about Partygate gatherings at Downing Street.

Shortly before leaving No10, Mr Johnson hired legal advice from Lord Pannick – at the reported cost of £130,000 – who claimed the terms of the committee’s inquiry were “unfair” and could be ruled “unlawful” by courts.

Allies have continued to question whether he “deliberately” misled Parliament during the Partygate saga. But his “intent” is not relevant to determining whether he is despised, the committee has clarified.

The committee’s mandate says that whether the Prime Minister “deliberately” misled the House of Commons “could become one of the key questions in the inquiry”. But is not necessarily decisive in determining whether he disregarded Parliament.

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