Boris Johnson receives £1m donation in major sign he wont step back

Boris Johnson quizzed on political ambitions in November

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Boris Johnson has received £1 million from a Tory donor in a sign he has no intention of stepping down from politics any time soon. The former prime minister, who was forced out of Downing Street last summer, recorded the donation from cryptocurrency investor Christopher Harborne to the Office of Boris Johnson Ltd in the latest update to the MPs’ Register of Interests.

Mr Harborne was among the donors who helped bankroll the Brexit Party and has also donated to the Conservatives.

The private limited company established by the ex-PM does not carry out commercial business and solely functions as a private office to support him as a former premier.

According to the parliamentary declarations, Mr Johnson has been continuing to live at a property linked to wealthy Tory donor Lord Bamford.

He declared the “use of accommodation for me and my family from December 2022 to January 2023 at an estimated value of £10,000”, provided by Lord Anthony and Lady Carole Bamford.

Since leaving office last September, Mr Johnson has declared more than £1 million in speaking fees.

In December, he recorded around £300,000 for two separate speeches.

It comes as speculation of a comeback by the charismatic 58-year-old continues to swirl as the Tories flounder in the polls under Rishi Sunak.

The latest speculation came on Tuesday as Mr Johnson gave a speech at the Carlton Club, where he was unveiling a portrait of himself in line with the club’s tradition of commissioning portraits of former Conservative premiers.

During his speech, the former PM insisted the Tories can recover at the ballot box as the party trails behind Labour.

Mr Johnson, who led the Tories to a landslide victory in 2019, urged supporters to get behind his policy programme of levelling up and seizing Brexit benefits to win the next general election.

He made no mention of his unceremonious ejection from No 10, according to extracts released by his office, but delivered a typically upbeat address extolling the achievements of his time in office.

He pointed to his government’s record in delivering Brexit and rolling out the Covid vaccine quicker than other countries.

He said: “When I talk to people in the Far East, in the US, in the Gulf, they are sometimes confused about the way in which the UK presents itself to the outside world because they look at the facts.

“They see a country that had the audacity to uphold the will of the people (to) come out of the EU.

“They see a Conservative government that was so dynamic and well organised that with the help of our Brexit freedoms – never forget that point – we vaccinated our population faster than any other country in Europe and as a result this Conservative government led the population out of lockdown faster than any other European country.”

Mr Johnson predicted that voters would return to the Conservatives as the one party committed to cutting taxes and that “really believes in Brexit”.

He said:”When people realise this I think the political dynamic is going to change. There is no desire to vote for Keir Starmer, for Sir crasheroonie snoozefest.

“So never give in, keep fighting, keep backing the Government – keep making the case for levelling up, for opportunities and for a dynamic low tax global Britain. That is how we will win again.”

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