Politics

Boris Johnson is now reciting poetry in dark parks and unsettling passers-by

Boris Johnson snubs Liz Truss over her mini-Budget

It’s nice to know that Boris Johnson is keeping himself busy after leaving Number 10.

Last week, it was revealed that the former PM made more than £1million from giving just four speeches in the two months after exiting Downing Street.

According to an update to the register of members’ financial interests, the former prime minister got £277,723 from Centerview investment bankers in New York, £261,652 from the Hindustan Times in India, and £215,275 from Televisão Independente for a speech in Lisbon. He also accepted £276,000 from insurance brokers in the US in September. The controversial politician also accepted more than £40,000 in free accommodation from Tory donor Lord Bamford and his wife.

And what’s the other thing he’s been doing while still working as an MP? Well, he’s started reciting poetry in dark parks and unsettling passers-by.

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In a new piece for the Spectator, he wrote: “One of the joys of a recent career change is taking a slightly longer run in the mornings. I get up in the dark and hammer my way round the park with the Protforce detectives strolling behind (and breaking into a theatrical jog when I turn round).”

Johnson has an unexpected new hobbyLeon Neal/Getty Images

Johnson added: One way to take your mind off the rigours of athletic exertion is to recite poetry. I now have a pretty stonking repertoire. In 35 mins I can do the first 100 lines of the Iliad, the first 100 lines of the Aeneid, the first canto of the Divine Comedy and the whole of Lycidas.

“I am pretty much word-perfect, though I might hesitate over the names of all those flowers towards the end of Lycidas and I am not sure a real Italian speaker would enjoy my version of Dante.”

He doesn’t just keep it to himself, either.

“The openings of the first two, the Iliad and its majestic Roman successor, are really what you call suppliant dramas. One character turns to another and implores them to do something. I like to act them out in different voices – much to the puzzlement of people overtaking me.”

We’re glad he’s filling his days after resigning after a string of scandals including Partygate and the way he handled allegations about Chris Pincher, anyway.

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