Boris Johnson ordered to apologise for failing to declare £52,000 in income

Tory former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been ordered to apologise to MPs for failing to declare more than £52,000 in income.

The Commons Committee on Standards said Mr Johnson broke House rules by failing to register payments within the required timetable on nine occasions.

MPs have to register any changes to their financial interests each month, but the former Cabinet minister’s registrations were late on four separate occasions, involving nine payments, the parliamentary sleaze watchdog found.

Kathryn Stone, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, said the number of late registrations suggested a “lack of attention to the House’s requirements, rather than inadvertent error”.

But the Committee said there were no grounds for supposing Mr Johnson “intended to deceive the House or the general public about the level of his remuneration”, though criticised his “over-casual attitude” to the rules.

The Committee concluded: “We recommend that Mr Johnson should make an apology to the House, on a point of order, for this breach of the rules.

“We recommend that in that apology he should address the specific comments we make in this report, and that he should undertake to ensure that his future registrations of remuneration are made in a timely way.

“We further recommend that the relevant payments be italicised in the register to indicate that they are late entries.”

The nine late registrations had a total value of £52,722.80, and were largely royalties or for the sale of rights on books already written, Ms Stone said.

The Committee noted that aggravating factors in calling for Mr Johnson to apologise included the size of the sums involved, the number of breaches and that he had been an MP over four Parliaments, and had been a senior minister – saying he “could be expected to set an example within the House”.

And it said Mr Johnson responded “promptly and helpfully” when the issue was raised to him, apologised to the Commissioner and put in place “effective measures to ensure that no further breach occurs”.

- Press Association


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