Boris Johnson has made more than £4m since leaving Downing Street but missed 187 Commons votes
It is a city that Boris Johnson was arguably born for.
This week the former prime minister continued his hugely lucrative worldwide public speaking tour in Las Vegas, where he was sharing a bill with the likes Mark Wahlberg, Hilary Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas.
No doubt Mr Johnson enjoyed his star status in America’s Sin City and he is expected to have raked in popstar levels of pay from his speech to the Scale Global Summit.
Back home, the legacy of his spell in No 10 continues to spark bitter divisions within the Conservative party following his referral to the police for another alleged lockdown violation. But Mr Johnson’s international engagements continued uninterrupted.
His allies insist he does not need to cut short his speaking tour in light of the latest allegations, with one supporter in Parliament telling i: “It makes no difference [if he returns to the UK]. It looks like an inside job has been done on him. He will have a team working on it.” Mr Johnson has called the new claims ‘completely untrue’.
And his supporters still believe he has unfinished business, pointing out the list of plans he had that never happened. “You can never tell with Boris,” the MP added.
To date, the ex-PM has earned a staggering £4.23m just through public speaking arrangements alone, according to his register of interests. This comes on top of the £510,000 he was given as an advance on his memoirs during his time in Downing Street, bringing his total earnings to just shy of £5m since leaving office.
But the globe-trotting comes at a cost to his constituents. He has voted a total of three times since he was forced to resign as PM, and one of those was to rebel against the Windsor Framework, Rishi Sunak’s post-Brexit deal for Northern Ireland.
During that time, the House of Commons has seen 190 separate votes. Those Mr Johnson has missed include crucial votes on Voter ID laws, the National Security Bill, Online Safety legislation and the hugely contentious Illegal Migration Bill.
En route to Nevada this week, Mr Johnson stopped in Texas, where he was invited by pro-Ukraine think-tankers to shore up Republican support for the war being waged in eastern Europe.
The right wing of US politics is beginning to waiver over the conflict, and Kyiv’s cheerleader-in-chief was asked to press the flesh with key Republican politicians, including former US President George W Bush, to re-energise support for the war.
The trip is the latest in a busy schedule of speaking events for Mr Johnson, which has seen him flit from Washington to New Delhi via New York. He has travelled to Singapore and back, stopping off in Mumbai, and last month he was in Lagos and Los Angeles before travelling to Seoul.
Each of the events pay him a six-figure sum, with the highest single known amount for a speaking event the £277,723.89 from the New York-based banking firm Centerview Partners. Naturally, travel and accommodation was also provided.
After he was forced out of office in September, Mr Johnson quickly signed up with the Harry Walker Agency, the Manhattan-based public speakers’ bureau, which also boasts the likes of the Clintons, Hollywood actors Rob Lowe and Ryan Reynolds, as well as sport stars such as Serena Williams.
There is a good reason for his demanding schedule. As prime minister he regularly complained about his finances, insisting he could not continue to fund his lifestyle on his ministerial salary of £164,080 a year.
It was the lack of cash that led to him seeking to arrange an £800,000 loan, guaranteed by his distant cousin Sam Blyth, via Richard Sharp, the former BBC chairman, whose own reputation was torched as a result.
But the telephone number sums he is earning has allowed the Johnson family to buy a nine-bedroom Grade II-listed country manor house in the Cotswolds for a reported £3.8m in cash.
The additional space will no doubt be required as the Johnsons announced that they are expecting their third child and Mr Johnson’s eighth.
Despite his upturn in fortunes, the Johnsons continue to be supported by their benefactors Lord and Lady Bamford, the JCB tycoon, who have allowed the family to use two of their properties since leaving Downing Street.
As of this month, Mr Johnson’s register of interests still lists the use of the Bamford’s £20m London townhouse, spitting distance from Harrod’s in Knightsbridge, which is listed as being valued at £10,000 a month. They also enjoy the use of Lady Bamford’s Cotswolds cottage, complete with moat and tennis court, which is valued at £3,500 a month.
Within weeks the ex-PM is due to learn the findings of a Privileges Committee inquiry as to whether he deliberately misled parliament. The ruling could decide whether a Johnson return is possible, or if he is destined to keep his comebacks for the Vegas crowds.