IOL and The Telegraph
Well, it is official. Boris Johnson is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Newspapers this week have been looking at his estimated net worth, and where and how he made his fortune.
The 55-year-old pro-Brexiter and former mayor of London replaced Theresa May this week – this was after he beat Jeremy Hunt to become the leader of the ruling Conservative Party.
Johnson is currently a member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, this means that he gets an annual salary of £79 468 (R1.3 million).
When he becomes PM he will reportedly get a salary of £150 402 (R2.6 million), according to FullFact.
It should also be noted that Johnson receives £275 000 per year – or £22 916 per month (R4.7 million annually) – from the Daily Telegraph for his weekly columns. He will give up his columnist role when he becomes prime minister.
Johnson, in addition, generates an income from the royalties of his book entitled “The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History”, a biography of Winston Churchill.
The new PM gets £49 000 (R860 000) for his book, according to Forbes.
Forbes reports that he also receives a share of rental income from a house owned in London with his ex-wife, Marina Wheeler.
His marital home in north London was put up for sale at a value of £3.75 million (R65 million). He will apparently make a £700 000 (R12 million) profit from the sale, the Sun reported.
Johnson also has at least a 20% share of a Somerset property, according to British media outlets. To date though, Johnson’s total net worth is around £1.6 million (R27.7 million), according to Celebrity Net Worth.
The website puts Theresa May’s net worth at an estimated £2 million (R34 million).
According to The Outlet, Johnson has donated about £50,000 (R86 600) to charity.
Bits from his first speech
Atmospherically, Boris Johnson’s first speech as prime minister was all very Spiro Agnew, for whom the problem wasn’t President Nixon (to whom he was vice-president), corruption, scandal or any other sharp edges of reality, it was the “nattering nabobs of negativism”, the “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history”.
In Johnson’s vision, the problem isn’t Brexit: the problem is the people who complain about Brexit. The phrases were childish (“the doomsters, the gloomsters”; the United Kingdom as an “awesome foursome”) but the thrust was not dissimilar to Theresa May’s. She also entered No 10 filled with certainty and a pugilistic optimism that her will would triumph.
There’s never been any shortage of wills; it’s ways we’re missing, and Johnson gave no more clues than anyone else, other than the hint that when it all went wrong it would certainly be the EU’s fault.
His broader plan involved the promise that the matter of social care had been sorted, by which he was probably referring to Matt Hancock’s plan of a 2.5% levy on the over-40s, or to put it another way, a tax.
“Free ports” – a system where certain regions pay no tariffs and become, in theory, boom towns for productivity – came up earlier in the week from Liz Truss. It’s more of a wedge issue than a practical idea, designed to create yet another false and boring dichotomy between those who truly care about the north and those who don’t.
His core message was that he would bring us all back together, apparently with vim.
Just like “respecting democracy”, uniting the country is somewhere below a platitude, a drive with which no reasonable person would disagree – yet it takes so much more than simply saying it that uttering the statement itself betrays its own meaninglessness.
I remember better structured, more coherent speeches at 2am in Stockport’s Heaven and Hell nightclub. Johnson is certainly a man intoxicated by personal ambition, but his first address as prime minister was more stream of consciousness than a compelling new vision for Britain.
Underlining his embrace of rightwing populism, those who disagreed with his Brexit policy – such as it is – were dismissed as “people who bet against Britain”. In the era of headlines such as “Enemies of the People” and “Saboteurs”, we are already familiar with government critics demonised as hostile to their own country.
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