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This is Boris' first mistake.

At least for his first few months as Mayor he should only be focussing on being Mayor.

He gave up his column when campaigning for Mayor and Londoners would have read that as him leaving journalism behind.

Running to be Mayor of London should be at least as demanding as being Mayor.

Wrong move, Boris!

How much time does writing a column take? Especially for a seasoned journalist like Boris. This won't effect his ability to be mayor at all, in fact, it may even help his mayorship by being a window into events. Plus I like the idea of Boris supporting the classics. I hope such teaching of the classics will extend to introducing pupils to the caustic wit of Schopenhauer, his 'Art of Controversy' should be required reading in schools for it teaches a person how to argue and how to expose fallacious argument.

This is completely the wrong move I'm afraid and will move the focus from the positive policies he his implementing onto his income, reinforcing Labour's "Tory toffs" line that now sounds like a stuck record. When it comes down to it, this matters not but the fact remains that he is the most senior Conservative in high office and as a result, he is going to be under ever closer scrutiny. I'd suggest that bagging £200,000 a year as a columnist is not the best first impression to give the public of a future Conservative government.

Bad move.

It's good that the mayor can get space in a newspaper.
Ken did it by costing us millions.
Boris does it by not only not costing anything but bringing money in!
A good move, although could be picked up and written as bad.

This is a disgrace.

I spent hours for weeks canvassing for this man. Not once was this mentioned then.

The first time we are in any kind of serious power since 1997 and what will people say? Same old sleazy Tories, out to line their own pockets, smearing all of us because of one person's selfish mistake.

That charge will not be true for the Conservative ministers who will be serving in the next Government who are not allowed to engage in such behaviour, but apparently Boris has taken a different decision.

I don't see why this should be a problem - Ken wrote things when he was in office - I distinctly remember him having a restaurant column in his famous bete noir - the Standard! Why should it be a problem for Boris to do some writing?

Boris needs the money. We don't all have trust funds (OK, I do).

Full time "public sector" leadership jobs are probably a mistake anyway. Also, I enjoy his articles.

Good move. Go for it. Ignore the politically correct whiners who don't have four kids to support in London and who haven't dedicated eight hours a day to public service.

I really cannot understand all the people who are against this. As London mayor and the second most recognisable Tory in the country there will be a crying need for a platform to explain what is happening, something the Conservatives have been desparately bad at since Maggie left. Or would you prefare to spend £millions on a tax payer funded paper like Ken.

Given the poor. or disasterous, history of the Conservative party putting over it's case this could be brilliant. Do the knockers above not understand the need to communicate? And do they not recall recent history where, when we didn't communicate, the media filled the gap with Labour's, or anyone elses version?

I have to say that £400k a year does seem obscene when we're talking about raising the quality of life for those on £7,350pa. Boris will do well as London Mayor (not in financial terms admittedly) but I think the Telegraph column might go against him unless he can show he is 100% committed to his job. Not a good move.

I agree with Mr Makara.

Meanwhile, regarding the piece in the Standard on the plinth, I hope, following Boris Johnson's support given during his election campaign, that the statue of Sir Keith Park will fairly shortly be forthcoming. The money could probably be raised fairly easily by public subscription and so forth.

I see no problem here. If Red Ken could spend time jetting off to be with his Socialist dictator friends, then Boris can donate an hour a week to writing a column in the Telegraph.

Oh do stop whingeing! Boris has got the kind of brain that needs to be fully occupied, and at last he's found the right post.

Having a regular column in the DT will give him, as Mayor, wide publicity, and NOY at the taxpayers' expense.

Oh the whingers! One column a week. Hardly a full time job. He can write it in a couple of hours.

Nope. Poor decision. His columns have got him into a fair amount of trouble already and probably will again. He is paid a full time salary as Mayor of London he should regard it as his full time job, if he can't exist on £137,000p.a. he shouldn't have stood. He should also stand down in Henley toot sweet.This is repeating the mistakes of Bob Neill again, giving ammunition to our political oponents and I suspect alienating large numbers of the public.

If this was an opportunity that arose on the back of becoming Mayor, then criticism would be justified. Plainly, that is not the case. The Telegraph column provides Boris with a useful line of direct communication.
Neither do I see why he should resign as an MP. Gordon Brown supposedly does an important and full-time job as Prime Minister, yet he also continues as a constituency MP. Where is the difference?
There is advantage in the Mayor having direct access to Parliament, Boris should think again on this.

What is with greedy Tory MPs? We've already got a parttime shadow cabinet, most of them anonymous. London now has a parttime mayor. Really not clever.

I sort of take this in a mixed way. It's all well and good 20% of his salary is being donated to various causes. Perhaps those who find it... controversial, should lobby Mr Johnson to give more of said money to various charities, say, 50%? 60% or so?

Personally I find it good that he has a window on the world in a national newspaper at no cost to the taxpayer. However, he's being paid what seems an awful lot for a single newspaper column a week, even if you could rattle it off quickly [Which Boris no doubt could].

I heartily agree with:-

Tony Makara
David Sergeant
Christian May
and Norm

But I do not agree with the 'Really not clever' Sammy Finn!

The politics of this is awful. A million quid over a Mayoral term from outside interests isn't on top of the Mayoral salary, the Mayoral salary tops it up.

Also, he must have known he was going to do this when he announced. What a way to be deceitful with the party and the voters.
What other money earners is he keeping secret for now?

Big mistake. Londoners won't be impressed.

I think Boris should have waited a while before resuming his column, but overall I have no problem with him taking on this role. Better to use newspapers to get out his message than a communication allowance paid out of tax revenue.

I hope however he has several people checking what he writes before it is sent in.


After all the hard work getting him elected, I'm so disappointed.

"A part time Mayor?!" For crying out loud it'll take an hour a week to write this. Or do you think he should spend his time at an embassy in China or a Communist oil refinary in Venezualu? Or maybe you'd all prefer that he ran a London wide propoganda newspaper instead of writing a single column?!!

I can't believe some of the comments here, there seem to be two issues people are whinning about:

1. The time it will take away from being Mayor.

Answer: Many Londoners will read this column, its a great chance for putting across what he is doing and his vision. Its a chance for him to continue to input into the national political zeitgeist. Its not like he is taking time out to advise a multi-national on how to make more money, he is a POLITICIAN writing about POLITICS. Come on people.

2. The money

Answer: Would it be better if he was only paid £25000? Thats still at least 12.5k p/h! This isn't a politician leeching of the state, its a private enterprise paying a public official to better communicate with the public.

Some people really have been watching too much C4/BBC. Money is a good thing, so is getting rich by working.

Being a politician is not a job. I object vigorously to the notion that there is an problem with a politician engaging in outside interests provided that those interest do not establish a conflict of interest or practicality with the politician's tasks.

Boris isn't being an on-the-road or investigative journalist. He is being paid to pontificate from his armchair. I do not see in what way that is supposed to be in conflict with his being Mayor.

You don't simply understand! After Boris's infidelities, his Marina has realised her price for staying with her lying little cheat. She will probably have been hitting the credits cards and accounts at Horrids and Harvey Nicks big time.

I must admit to feeling a bit sorry for our court jester. He has no control over appointments as Nick Boles is busy appointing Policy Exchange cronies like Munira Mirza who, according to the Social Affairs Unit, has links to the Revolutionary Communist Party . Mirza is reportedly dating a Cameron speechwriter - the former Powellite Dougie "repatriation" Smith who "ran" CChange? LOL!!

Boris's new Director of Transport is Kulveer Ranger whose only experience of transport is being an IT consultant on the Oyster Card. Ranger, a Vice-Chairman of the party, has no experience of transport economics, finance, regulation or operations.

Oh dear. The excrement has hit the fan already!!

For goodness sake. It's as if he'd decided to start trading blood diamonds from his official office.

It is a smart move for Boris, not just in terms of the £250k, a corner stone of his election was national media recognition - he will continue to build it. The most powerful elected Conservative in the country, with a direct line into the homes of the voting public.

Tory high command should be worried, but not because he's made an awful mistake.

A Tory Mayor writing about his experiences interfacing meaningfully with all the Quango placemen and Common Purpose types in non-productive jobs in London?

Sounds good to me.

Publicity: Ken paid millions; Boris gets paid millions. The contrast couldn't be clearer or better.

It's probably not one column a week - probably fortnightly with time off for good behaviour - so maybe 20 to 22 weeks a year.

Anyway, I've missed him and it will make a nice difference to the Hefferlump going on about Cameron not really being a Tory and how he should really be a Whig or some such twaddle. (It's about time he went off the the Daily Mirror to show that McGuire wally how Brown-nosing should really be done!)

I just hope that nice Mr Dale will not lose his column to make way for Boris. He needs the money, (you know he's got an Audi to support) and is actually quite good at this punditry stuff. Then again, he's getting a new weekly Telegraph TV so perhaps he'll not be so hard up?

Er, guys, I hate to burst your bubble but the idea that he'll be rolling off a column in an hour is, how to put this nicely, cloud cuckoo land. Anyone at the Telegraph could put you straight on this. Charles Moore has even written about it for crying out loud.

"I employed Boris when I was editor of the Daily Telegraph - he was already there, but I employed him. One of the things he did for me was a weekly column and it was an absolute nightmare. Quite a lot of journalists are late, and they can only really be stimulated by a deadline. Boris was stratospherically late. Off the scale late. I might ring him up at 5.30 in the evening to say, 'Where's the copy?' because he'd have about half an hour left to get the copy in. And what would quite often be the case would be that clearly the copy wasn't ready, not only that but he hadn't begun to write it. And it wasn't unknown for him not to know what he was writing about at that point. It really was very, very taxing, particularly for the poor sub-editors and so on. And boris would say, 'Yes I'm coming, coming, coming,' and he really was flying by the seat of his pants, and the only thing you could do - and I did it once, I think, possibly twice - is to spike the copy because it's so late in order to teach him a lesson. For a month he'd behave better and then back to the same."

Whoever said it up there that Livingstone used to write a restaurant column for the Evening Standard (for a bit less than 250k a year, I'm guessing) will find that it was before he was the Mayor.

It's not a part-time job, running a world class city. Cabinet ministers, who get paid the same as the Mayor and have similar budgets and responsibilities to the Mayor, can't do it for a good reason.

This party has to take responsibility for how this office is used (or misused) starting when the new Mayor was sworn in.

What's the big deal?

A few hours a month - clears his head - speaks to hundreds of thousands of people?

Every candidate in the country would kill to have such a platform and he has it. He should use it!

So Telegraph hack, you're saying it takes him half an hour, not an hour?

I'm saying it takes him all day, Saltmaker. The half an hour Charles quotes is half an hour to deadline, which he almost always missed by a mile.

The Mayor of London is, like Cabinet Ministers ,a full time job. Its salary reflects this. It is assumed that the taxpayer is paying for a man who devotes his entire time and energy to the job
When Cabinet ministers in the past earned money from writing for newspapers they often used to donate it to charity.
Of course standards have slipped.
An occasional article-with the proceeds devoted to charity-is one thing but a regular column is demeaning to a n elected office,may create conflicts of interest with his employers and is cheating the taxpayers who expect a fulltime effort for a fulltime salary.

I've been away from it for a few minutes and come back again for some more comment:

Those of you who are in full whining flow should take a moment to consider quite how derelict our society has become due to the drip drip of socialism, reflected in the ludicrous things you are writing.

It is not bad to earn money, and those who think that it wont play well with Londoners: who gives a s**t. We shouldn't be playing in to this politically correct rubbish. Those who have a problem with this should have voted for the Left List and we could have seen how well such a mayor would have done.

Let the man alone, we elected him - now trust him to do the job. There was a time when this would be enough, in many ways it was a better time.

And the personal attacks are gutter.

which he almost always missed by a mile.

Or a day, apparently.

You are far more critical of him than Charles Moore was.

"I don't see why this should be a problem - Ken wrote things when he was in office - I distinctly remember him having a restaurant column in his famous bete noir - the Standard! Why should it be a problem for Boris to do some writing?"

Exactly Woodentop, the world would be a poorer place without Boris writing a column in the Telegraph. And not a bad form of publicity for the city of London when it reaches out across the country.

God, looking at some of the comments you think he was contemplating staying on as an MP until the next election or something else as time consuming. Oh wait, this is the Conservative party so we criticise our new Mayor for writing a column... I have a first Minister who is still an MP for the foreseeable future and didn't Ken also stay as an MP until the GE as well.
Don't lets hand our opponents silly ammunition to attack Boris.

You lot are unbelievable.

Tory MPs taking on outside jobs and other interests - because they were too greedy to "get by" on a perfectly ample (for most ordinary people) MPs salary - was partly what led to the party's years in the wilderness in the first place.

The first Tory to get his hands on real power in over a decade and his snout is straight back in the trough.

And there is the bare faced double standards of it all as well! You slag off Ken for creating his own newspaper as a "channel of communication to Londoners", then applaud Boris for doing the same thing AND taking £400K in the process!

By the way, Ken gave up his ES column when he became Mayor. He took the job seriously.

I really have no idea why so many people are getting upset about this. Countless MPs, MEPs, MSPs etc write weekly artciles for their local newspaper. Almost weekly David Cameron will wrire articles that appear in one paper or another, the same applies to Gordon Brown.

If Boris were doing it for free would people be less critical?

I think this is a good thing. Boris will be writing a weekly coumn in a national newspaper, it will be good for him and I hope good for the Conservative Party.

I think, Richard, what some people are upset about is that while some of us scoffed that he'd do exactly this (Boris being, as we had always said, an exceptionally selfish and greedy fellow), he didn't tell the rest of you. He campaigned to be a full-time mayor who'd put London first, and scrupulously avoided mentioning in his election campaign that, actually, what came first for Boris was what always comes first for Boris: Boris. And thus the people most disappointed in him are the people, well displayed on this thread, who worked hardest to get him elected. Oh, and one other thing: Heffer was right.

So it would be perfectly ok for Boris to be a director of say a property company in say East London-getting to know problems on the ground,eh what-and spend say one hour ,one day or any time you care to specify on these extra-curricular duties.

Anthony Schofield, my understanding is that Boris IS going to donate a sizable chunk of his fees to help various organisations in London. What on earth is your beef? Are you a nulab troll?

The Evening Standard is now reporting that Boris may not bring back the Routemaster.

Two bad signals in as many days.

In Brown's Britain no one can survive with one job!!!

Bad move. His brilliant - if occasionally controversial - journalism aside, this just feels like having your cake and eating it. Silly move so early on.

This is a very bad move.

Being chairman of Transport for London and of Metropolitan Police Authority is part of being Mayor of London. They are not separate jobs. Livingstone chaired TfL personally and handed the MPA over to his henchman Len Duvall. Johnson may decide to do the same. But, whatever the arguments about his column are, he cannot be said to be holding down five jobs - three until he resigns as MP. It took Livingstone the best part of the year to do that. We shall see how long Johnson will take.

Mediocre hacks will be jealous and resentful of the £250k. A bad PR move, therefore.

I am not enthusiastic, other than as a Telegraph reader. But least said, soonest mended.

The comment I most agree with above is that "I hope someone goes through his copy with a toothcomb". It's one thing having written a few loose things years before taking public office, but a few hurriedly written, ill-chosen, if entertaining words whilst he is in office could be a nightmayor. On the other hand if he uses the column as a platform for promoting what he is doing in London and the wider lessons to be learnt, i.e. writes as the London Mayor who happens to be Boris Johnson rather than as Boris Johnson who happens to be Mayor, it could work for him.

Excuse me, but I've just read the newspaper and I don't see anything about this. Where is the evidence for this?

I met Boris when he came down to Kingston, and he was very serious about being the Mayor, unlike what some people in the newspapers said. I think you'll find this rumour isn't true.

I think David Cameron should call him in and tell him this is not on.

It's not like being a backbench MP for Henley, being Mayor of London.

He is behaving like a selfish, greedy politician who doesn't care about the voters whom he didn't bother to tell that he was going to do this.

This is not remotely acceptable. Get on with the job you were elected to perform and are paid to do Boris!

You tried riding two horses before by editing the Spectator just to trouser the extra cash. This is a lot more serious than shadow junior spokesman for the arts, or whatever you were then.

Londoners will think that you are showing your true colours, the way that you have sneaked out this announcement after the election. You will have to face them again, you know. Or are you just planning the one term and will inform them, and the party, about this later?

Who does this man think he is?

He was privileged to be our party's candidate and to be elected to a hugely responsible position. And now, apparently, he is more interested in his bank account.

I don't have any problem with the Telegraph column - no reason why he shouldn't be able to do this in his spare time and it's a good way of communicating what the Mayor of London actually does, which I for one am fairly hazy about - but I do feel very strongly about the Routemaster buses which are an iconic London feature and should never have been scrapped. He definitely pledged to bring them back and he should remain true to his word.

I know someone who used to have a phrase for this.

"Same old greedy Tories, same old lies."

Plus ca change... or as the French like to say in the full (fully translated) quotation: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

But maybe, sadly, the joke is on me, because voting for Boris is the first time I've voted Tory since 1992.


Presumably he will be fine with Guto and all of the team he will be leaning on (no doubt as heavily as everywhere else he has ever worked) with taking outside jobs, for more than their GLA salaries?

Boris has been writing excellent copy for many years and it is clearly something he enjoys doing. Yes it will probably take a certain amount of his time, but even prime ministers find time for holidays and for personal pursuits so where is the actual harm?

If his writing impacts on his performance as Mayor then the electorate will be able to make their views perfectly clear on that at the next election, but until then it's really no one's business but his. He should do his job the way that he believes is right and the devil take the whinging political classes who believe everyone in public life should be paragons of perfection.

I don't agree. The GLA employment terms and conditions preclude outside financial interests. What does Anthony Meyer say about it?

On top of that, it was duplicitous in the extreme for him to decide to do this before the election and yet tell no one outside, presumably, of his wife.

This is simply not acceptable. Being Mayor of London, like being a cabinet minister or Prime Minister, is a full-time job. Taxpayers are paying for someone who does this job, not to supplement a much bigger salary for another employer.

This and the appointment chaos at City Hall are not good signs.

I wanted the Tories back, not Tory sleaze.

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