FORMER prime minister Boris Johnson has once again committed a “clear breach” of the rules by only informing the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments of becoming a columnist at the Daily Mail half an hour before the public announcement, the watchdog has said.

The disgraced MP is set to take on a new role at the Daily Mail just a day after the Privileges Committee found he repeatedly misled Parliament.

However, he failed to get permission from the appointments watchdog, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) has confirmed.

Under the ministerial code, former ministers must seek clearance from Acoba.

Yet on Friday morning, the Daily Mail teased an “erudite new columnist who’ll be required reading in Westminster and across the world” alongside a blacked-out silhouette figure.

The paper later confirmed the columnist to be Johnson.

It’s not the first time this has happened either as in 2018, Johnson returned to his £275,000-a-year columnist role with The Daily Telegraph after resigning as foreign secretary without Acoba’s approval.

A spokesperson for Acoba confirmed that Johnson once again had not sought its advice, as required, before taking on the job.

A spokeswoman for the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) said: “The Ministerial Code states that Ministers must ensure that no new appointments are announced, or taken up, before the Committee has been able to provide its advice.

“An application received 30 mins before an appointment is announced is a clear breach.

“We have written to Mr Johnson for an explanation and will publish correspondence in due course, in line with our policy of transparency.”

It’s understood the watchdog’s chair, former Tory cabinet minister Lord Pickles, will write to the ex-PM to demand an explanation.

In a damning report released on Thursday, the Privileges Committee found Johnson had repeatedly misled MPs over partygate.

It also accused him of being “complicit” in a “campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation” against its seven members.

Although the committee can’t actually impose any sanctions due to Johnson’s resignation, the report said he would have faced a 90-day suspension from Parliament were he still an MP.

However, MPs will decide on Monday whether or not to accept the recommendation that he should be banned from holding a Commons pass usually given to former members to allow them to access the parliamentary estate.

The Daily Mirror also reported that Downing Street declined to comment on the news that the former PM is going back to writing.

Asked whether Sunak is looking forward to reading the column, a No 10 spokesperson said: “That’s not a matter for Government and it’s not a question I’ve asked him specifically.”

A spokesperson for Johnson said he was “in touch with Acoba”. They insisted “the normal process is being followed” even though he has not received approval before taking on the new job.