By Tim Shipman
Gordon Brown is planning to cash in on his time in power by demanding £64,000 for speaking engagements in the Middle East and Asia.
The former prime minister told voters he would devote himself to good works after he left Downing Street, rather than hit the lecture circuit like Tony Blair.
But he has been taken on by a major international speakers’ bureau, which is offering his services at $100,000 a time.
He will address corporate events and private audiences on the lessons of the financial crisis – the subject of the book he is writing, to be published in the autumn.
Anyone wishing to hire him will have to pay for five-star hotel accommodation, a first-class seat plus three in business class for members of his entourage.
A spokesman for Mr Brown indicated last night that he is planning the public speaking spree when he has finished his book.
Mr Brown’s fee is considerably less than the sums attracted by Tony Blair, who reportedly pocketed $400,000 for a single speech in the Far East – around £250,000.
Mr Blair has accumulated private wealth of more than £20million since he left office.
His successor spent much of his political career stressing his frugal upbringing and lack of interest in the trappings of power.
He said in April: ‘Sarah and I might do charity or voluntary work, I don’t want to do business or anything else. I just want to do something good.’
However Mrs Brown is also being touted as an optional extra for her husband’s speeches.
The Spectator reported that for $20,000 – around £13,000 – she will present a prize at ceremonies where Mr Brown speaks.
JLA – Britain’s biggest speakers’ agency – expressed surprise that Mr Brown is putting himself forward for engagements and denied that he was on its books.