Boris Johnson Reaps Six-Digit Speech Fee as War Chest Swells

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson reaped more than 160,000 pounds ($206,000) in donations and speaking fees in March and April, bolstering the former foreign secretary’s war chest in the event of a Conservative Party leadership contest.

The latest update to the U.K. Parliament’s Register of Members’ Financial Interests shows that JC Bamford Excavators Ltd. donated 8,000 pounds to Brexit-supporting Johnson, adding to the 29,000 pounds he’d previously reported from the manufacturer of construction machinery.

Boris Johnson Reaps Six-Digit Speech Fee as War Chest Swells

But the most eye-catching income reported by Johnson are his fees for giving speeches: 122,900 pounds from New Delhi-based Living Media India Ltd. to give a speech to the India Today conference, for which he billed 3 hours, and 38,250 pounds for a 2 1/2-hour engagement at Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. on March 12 -- the same day as Prime Minister Theresa May held, and lost, a second vote in the House of Commons on her Brexit deal.

Johnson, touted as one of the favorites to succeed May when she steps down, was already well ahead of potential leadership rivals -- including Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab -- at the beginning of April, when the register was last updated. He’s secured more than double their donations even before factoring in his considerable income from speeches and publishing.

In the latest update to the register, Raab listed a 10,000-pound gift from a private donor, while Gove added a donation of 5,000 pounds.

Meanwhile prominent Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has ruled himself out of any leadership contest, did little to dispel the Conservative politician stereotype by accepting champagne worth 323 pounds for giving a speech.

May has promised to step down once Brexit is delivered, and lawmakers are pressing her to give a clear timetable for her departure even if her deal isn’t ratified.

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