'Career in politics is a sacrifice', says Boris
Boris Johnson has suggested he has made sacrifices for the good of the UK because he could earn much more money outside of politics.
Put on the spot at Tory leadership hustings, the former British foreign secretary (inset) also made clear that becoming prime minister would mean it would take him longer to finish a book he is writing about Shakespeare.
Asked when he had set aside his own self-interest for the good of his country, Mr Johnson said: "It is obviously poss-ible to make more money by not being a full-time politician.
"You have to make sacrifices sometimes and that is the right thing to do.
"Being a full-time politician means that I won't be able, for instance, to rapidly complete a book on Shakespeare that I have in preparation."
Since quitting the cabinet over Brexit last year, Mr Johnson has resumed his Daily Telegraph column, for which he is paid £275,000 (€305,000) a year, and commands huge fees as a corporate speaker, with one recent event earning him £42,580 (€47,442).
He also revealed at the hustings that he did not like using the word "austerity".
Asked if austerity was over, the front-runner for the Conservative party leadership said: "Austerity itself is, I think, not a helpful term. I never liked it.
"I remember Dave Cameron saying to me he wanted to have an austerity Olympics and I said, 'No way, mate, no way'.
"That was not the stuff to give the troops. What we wanted was a great Olympics."