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Blue Mondays
Conservatives, Issue 1480
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Boris Johnson is paid more than £260,000 a year by the Telegraph
WHILE many Tories in Birmingham this week were losing patience with Boris Johnson, exasperated howls could also be heard from his employers at the Telegraph as they realised he had betrayed them yet again. Boris being disloyal – who’d have guessed it?

The paper pays him more than £260,000 a year. As the last Eye reported, editor Chris Evans tries to justify the expense by reporting each of Johnson’s weekly columns as a major news story, in the hope that people will subscribe to Telegraph Premium to read it – but Bojo then sabotages the paywall by sticking it on his Facebook page for all to read, gratis. Equally gallingly, the column of his that made the most news recently was the “suicide vest” screed he wrote for, er, the Mail on Sunday.

Only the first couple of paragraphs
Two weeks ago, livid Telegraph bosses delivered an ultimatum: in future he must share only the first couple of paragraphs on Facebook, followed by a link so readers would have to sign up before they could see the rest. Meanwhile, as penance for his MoS moonlighting, he had to write a long “Brexit manifesto” on the eve of the Tory conference. “We need to show that the Telegraph owns Boris,” said an executive.

Headline-grabbing interview
His 4,500-word manifesto duly appeared with a loud fanfare last Friday. But within 48 hours it was eclipsed by his headline-grabbing interview with, er, the Sunday Times, in which he said Theresa May’s approach was “deranged” (and, for good measure, proposed a Boris Bridge across the Irish Sea). On Sunday morning he compounded the offence by putting the full text of his manifesto on Facebook, free of charge. With a final flourish, he then delivered his column for conference week – all about African elephants. Even the Daily Telegraph couldn’t get a front-page story out of that.

PS Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt had agreed to be interviewed by the Daily Telegraph before the party conference, but at the last moment he withdrew and gave an interview to the Times instead. When he rang the Telegraph to cancel, he explained apologetically that he had been expressly forbidden from talking to the paper, partly to punish it for turning into the Daily Boris – but also, seemingly, to prevent the ambitious Hunt laying out his Conservative pitch to the many Torygraph-reading party members.

More top stories in the latest issue:

RED LAGOON
Backing from Jeremy Corbyn for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon – what was that about public funds and private profit?

FAGS TO RICHES
Nigel Farage’s claim is be skint is absurd in light of his £320,000 a year from radio station LBC.

SHELL OF A RUSE
Companies fined peanuts for not accurately declaring their true owners under anti-corruption laws.

CASH FOR ASHCROFT
Lord Ashcroft’s new book decrying the UK’s underfunded military makes no mention of how much it might help if rich folk paid their share of taxes.

WREKIN BALLS
The crisis hit hospital at the centre of concerns over mother and baby deaths now stands accused of misleading monitors over the scale of the problem.

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Next issue on sale: 16th October 2018
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Private Eye Issue 1479