On 16 June 2023, the Daily Mail unveiled former Prime Minister Boris Johnson as its new columnist.
The same day, the Daily Mirror revealed that Boris Johnson failed to get permission from Acoba, the ministerial appointments watchdog, before taking the job at the Daily Mail.
Under the ministerial code, former ministers must seek clearance from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) before accepting any new roles within two years of leaving office.
The Mirror reported that the Committee said Johnson has committed a “clear breach” of the rules by only informing it of the job half an hour before the public announcement.
On 27 June, Acoba’s Chair Lord Pickles, wrote to Boris Johnson, stating that his Daily Mail column announcement “was a clear and unambiguous breach of the rules and requirements set out in the Ministerial Code”. Lord Pickles added that he had reported the matter to the government.
Johnson did not follow due process when accepting his Daily Mail column, as his spokesperson claimed in a statement to the Daily Mirror.
Additional Note Anyone who becomes a spokesperson for Johnson finds it hard to retain his or her integrity.
We sent a letter to Johnson’s personal and office address offering him the chance to respond. The letter was received (and signed for) by both, but no reply.