Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 13:29 UK

Mayor's 250,000 'chicken feed'

Boris's 250,000 newspaper deal

London Mayor Boris Johnson has described his £250,000-a-year pay for a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph as "chicken feed".

He told the BBC's Hard Talk programme that it was wholly reasonable for him take the second salary in addition to about £140,000 he gets as mayor.

He added: "Of course I make a substantial donation to charity".

His comments came as Tory leader David Cameron asked shadow cabinet members to give up their second jobs by December.

I don't see why on a Sunday morning I shouldn't knock off an article - if someone wants to pay me for that article then that's their lookout
Mayor Boris Johnson

When asked about the pay for the articles Mr Johnson said: "It's chicken feed.

"I think that frankly there's absolutely no reason at all why I should not knock off an article as a way of relaxation.

"I write anyway, I happen to write extremely fast.

"I don't see why on a Sunday morning I shouldn't knock off an article - if someone wants to pay me for that article then that's their lookout and of course I make a substantial donation to charity.

"Maybe that money shouldn't go to charity, maybe you'd rather I didn't make those contributions to charity," he added.

'Out of touch'

When asked if his actions contradicted Mr Cameron's stand on second jobs, the mayor said: "Well I'm not a member of his shadow cabinet and I'd like to see what the detail of that is."

Labour's deputy leader on the London Assembly, John Biggs, said: "Londoners struggling through the recession will be astounded that their Mayor is so out of touch with reality.

"A quarter of a million pounds may be chicken-feed to him but the overwhelming majority of people in the capital can only dream of earnings like that.

"How can we have any faith in a Mayor who believes earning more than 10 times the majority of those whose interests he is supposed to represent amounts to nothing more than chicken-feed?"



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SEE ALSO
MPs' second jobs to be disclosed
01 Jul 09 |  UK Politics
Top Tories giving up second jobs
29 Jun 09 |  UK Politics
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01 May 09 |  London

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