December 6, 2018 / 10:59 AM / 13 days ago

REFILE-Former UK foreign secretary Johnson rebuked for failing to publish earnings

(Refiles, adding dropped word in headline)

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s former foreign secretary Boris Johnson was ordered by parliament’s standards watchdog on Thursday to apologise for failing to declare almost 53,000 pounds ($67,495) earnings on time.

An investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found that Johnson failed to register nine payments, totalling 52,722.80 pounds, within the 28-day deadline.

In her report, the commissioner, Kathryn Stone, concluded that Johnson was in breach of the rules of the House of Commons, parliament’s lower chamber, for a failure to fulfil his responsibilities, saying it was neither “inadvertent” nor “minor”.

Since resigning as foreign secretary in July over Theresa May’s Brexit plans, Johnson has been writing a weekly column for Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, on a yearly salary of 275,000 pounds. Most of the payments that were declared late came from royalties from books he has written.

“I apologise for any unintended delay in registering changes to my financial interests,” he said in his response to the commissioner’s findings. “I accept full responsibility and have now taken steps to minimise any likelihood of this happening again.”

He added that he had now employed a dedicated member of staff to handle his declarations.

The former foreign secretary attributed the late payments to delays in processing his financial statements and confirmed that the nine payments had now been declared. ($1 = 0.7852 pounds) (Reporting by Amy O’Brien; editing by Michael Holden)

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