Boris Johnson has reportedly backed out of a £500,000 book deal with Hodder & Stoughton to write a biography of William Shakespeare.
The Daily Mail reported Johnson, who was named as the UK's new foreign secretary last week, is having to pay back the advance, reported to be £500,000, because he is "conceded he doesn’t have the time" to write the book before the end of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary year.
Johnson, who also led the campaign for Brexit, has written other books including The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History (Hodder) and The Dream Of Rome (Harper Perennial).
The book was slated for publication in October 2016.
Hodder has not yet commented on the claims.