While dodging his liberal neighbors in the leafy, left-leaning Herne Hill neighborhood, Boris Johnson is expected to make £3 million annually.


Last week, amid the red-brick Victorian splendor of Herne Hill, there was a mixture of amusement and dread at the idea that Boris Johnson would soon be residing in this south London stronghold of anti-Brexit sentiment.

Mr. Johnson and his wife Carrie are believed to have chosen a five-bedroom house on the outskirts of neighboring Dulwich Village as their post-Downing Street residence in an act of real estate-based political irony. The neighborhood is home to upscale private schools, posh boutiques, and, in the case of the nearby ward, a population that voted by 83 percent to stay in the European Union.

The couple’s new home on a leafy, sought-after street, where homes frequently sell for more than £3 million, provides the suburban seclusion they need to raise their two young children, Wilf, age two, and Romy, age eight months, away from Downing Street’s spotlight and its infamously pricey furnishings.

For any former prime ministers who still feel the need to snoop around the halls of power, Westminster is only a 30-minute commute away.

On the morning sourdough run, it is unclear whether the newcomers and the locals will get along. Herne Hill had the sixth-highest percentage of “remain” votes in the nation during the 2016 EU referendum, and the neighborhood’s Dulwich and West Norwood constituency elected Labour MP Helen Hayes to the House of Commons in 2019 with 66% of the vote. The Greens defeated the Tory candidate and took third place.

We’re close to Dulwich Park and everyone with children has a dog, so I can see Carrie fitting right in, but since everyone in the area reads The Guardian and voted against Brexit, I think Boris might feel out of place.

Even stronger opinions were held by others. The only reason I’d like to see Boris around here is so I can tell him to his face what a tw*t he is, according to Freya Jackson, a 29-year-old NHS employee who had just left the same park where Dilyn the Downing Street Jack Russell cross may soon be chasing squirrels.

As a result, the SE24 postcode serves as an effective metaphor for the turning point in Mr. Johnson’s unique political and personal journey now that his tumultuous tenure in Downing Street – at least for the time being – is over. It offers schooling options between a highly regarded but overburdened state sector and a suitably pricey independent sector, as well as a certain amount of ambivalence in the general population.

When asked last week what the future holds, Mr. Johnson responded, “Really to get on with life,” perhaps with an eye toward a life balanced between suburbia and the never-ending intrigues of Westminster.

In fact, Mr. Johnson faces a domestic to-do list that could be summed up as: improve bank balance, polish personal brand, and (just maybe) retake No. 10 as his successor deals with one of the least impressive economic and political in-trays to greet an incoming prime minister this week.

It is likely that the first of those things will take up the majority of his time in the near future. On account of his £164,000 annual prime ministerial salary, Mr. Johnson is rumored to have once complained that he “could not afford” to lead the UK government. He undoubtedly intends to follow in the footsteps of his only immediate predecessor, David Cameron, who is credited with telling friends that it was time to “put some hay in the barn” after leaving Downing Street in 2016.

The Wallpapergate scandal, which revealed that donations were required to cover the cost of redecorating the Johnsons’ Downing Street apartment, is one piece of evidence that suggests the chance to bolster the coffers may be welcome. While residing in No. 10, Mr. Johnson is said to have requested donations to cover a variety of expenses, including the cost of his nanny, personal trainer, and some takeout meals.

It will therefore provide some solace to know that, with a few restrictions, he is widely believed to be capable of earning at least £3 million in compensation over the next 12 months.

British prime ministers who have recently lost their jobs have historically had access to a variety of lucrative opportunities to increase their retirement savings, most notably by joining the corporate speaking circuit and accepting positions providing advice to blue-chip companies or sitting in their boardrooms.

Mr. Johnson has “many qualities,” according to a City headhunter, but his “unfinished business” with Westminster’s cross-party Privileges Committee, which is looking into whether he lied to Parliament when he denied knowledge of Covid lockdown parties, may delay his ascent into the non-executive director ranks.

If it is determined that Mr. Johnson violated parliamentary rules, he may be expelled from Congress and even be forced to run in a recall election. It is understood that he plans to stay in office at least until the next election.

The headhunter said: “Boris has sat at the head table on the global stage. His clients include major banks and finance houses. He possesses a lot of the desirable traits and knowledge. However, in the business world, especially when you are in the public eye, you must be spotless.

“Anyone interested in his services would want to know that any, let’s say, reputational drawbacks, have been completely resolved. He might do better in the short term by focusing on his spoken and written communication skills.

If Mr. Johnson has a clear path to significant earnings, it most likely lies in his demonstrated ability to amuse and occasionally appall with his oratorial and literary skills. He was making up to £800,000 per year during his previous tenure as a backbench MP from sources like his £275,000-per-year Daily Telegraph column, speeches, book royalties, and television appearances.

It is widely believed in the publishing community that Mr. Johnson will have finalized a deal for the traditional prime ministerial memoir by the autumn. Publishers may engage in a bidding war that could result in a minimum payoff of £1 million for an unvarnished account of the many struggles and difficulties of Brexit, Covid, intra-Tory conflict, and the dreadful outbreak of war in Ukraine.

In addition, since moving into Downing Street, Mr. Johnson has been putting off finishing a long-awaited biography of Shakespeare.

For the man who, as the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent, first understood the power of pursuing a politically charged narrative by providing readers with a steady stream of examples of purported bureaucratic excess in the European Union, the temptation to return to his journalistic roots is equally likely to prove irresistible.

In Fleet Street, rumors abound that Mr. Johnson plans to leave his former employer’s newspaper and join the Daily Mail as a columnist. The fiery tabloid was one of his most ardent backers during the turmoil that eventually resulted in his defenestration from No. 10. It won’t have escaped your notice that The Mail on Sunday, a sister publication of the Mail, was chosen to publish a valedictory article last week outlining his accomplishments in office.

But the former prime minister is most likely to be in high demand for public and corporate speaking engagements.

According to industry insiders, Mr. Johnson’s requests could include “intimate” dinner meetings with senior executives from large corporations, as well as set-piece speeches at corporate conferences and events in the United States and Asia, each costing $500,000 (£430,000).

“Boris is popular here, and not just with Trump supporters,” a US-based source claimed. The demand for British prime ministers is constant. I would be shocked if he didn’t leave with $2 million or $3 million in engagements over the following 12 to 18 months.

The head of a speaking agency in London stated that domestic demand for the former PM’s perspectives and rhetorical flourishes is anticipated to be high. David Cameron and Gordon Brown are clients of Nick Gold’s Speakers Corner firm. Nick Gold stated: “We are yet to have a firm steer as to his likely availability in the UK but there is certainly a lot of appetite to hear from him.

“I believe that a lot of the resentment and anxiety that existed at the time of his resignation, as well as the negative connotations associated with hearing what he has to say, have subsided. We will likely see him soon, I’m pretty sure.

The fact that, at least publicly, very little or nothing is known about Mr. Johnson’s future plans makes it more difficult to follow them. Many seasoned professionals on the speaking circuit expressed surprise at the dearth of confirmed appearance bookings at a time when he could command a premium.

“My assumption is that he probably doesn’t want to say anything to frighten the Westminster horses,” one industry insider said.

No one is quite sure whether Mr. Johnson is actually done with the job, unlike the departures of his more recent predecessors, which is perhaps his most singular characteristic in Mr. Johnson’s shape-shifting quest to be a somewhat unique prime minister.

The Old Etonian who once declared that he wanted to be “world king” as a child has not made any special efforts to quell rumors that he still harbors ambitions to return to No. 10 at a later date. He said, “I think only time will tell is my answer on that one,” in response to the question of what kind of ex-prime minister he intended to be asked last week.

He went on to say that his successor would have his “full and unqualified support,” but that was just the most recent in a long line of contradictory statements he had made in the past about his intentions. After all, this is the man who said “Hasta la vista, baby” as he left the dispatch box in July, a line from the Terminator movies that sits alongside the character’s other catchphrase, “I’ll be back.”

There seems little doubt that Mr. Johnson is keeping his options open for a return to power when combined with reports, which are believed to be well-founded, that he intends to remain in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat at least until the next election and polling that demonstrates that a significant portion of Conservative members prefer him as leader.

He feels unfairly treated, and the membership doesn’t want to see him go, a former Conservative minister said. Many members of the parliamentary party believe he should be defeated. But as we all know, Boris is not like that. He is a master of seizing opportunities in life. It would also be hasty to write off his successor given the enormous challenges he faces.

While waiting, it might be helpful to spare a thought for the residents of SE24 as they prepare for an unusual period of notoriety. “All anyone will say when they hear I live in Herne Hill is that Boris lives there,” lamented one local.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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