Politics

Boris Johnson facing ethics inquiry over ‘intimate’ relationship with Jennifer Arcuri

Boris Johnson may have breached anti-corruption guidelines in his dealings with US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri during his tenure as London mayor, a police watchdog has found.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said that Johnson will not face a criminal investigation over his links to Acuri, who was given £126,000 in public funding and privileged access to foreign trade missions while he was in City Hall, between 2008 and 2016, ITV News reports.

But  “a probe by the London Assembly will resume”, the news site says.

The police review found evidence of a “close association” and “intimate relationship” between Acuri and the now prime minister, and says Johnson may have breached the ethical standards expected of public officials, The Times adds. 

The watchdog’s newly published 112-page report says that the married politician and Arcuri became friends in 2012 and had allegedly started a sexual relationship by November 2014. 

A friend of Arcuri, known as Witness A, confirmed that the businesswoman “disclosed to the investigation that she and Mr Johnson were in a sexual relationship”, but the details are redacted in the report, according to the newspaper.

However, the police review does note that “Arcuri’s press interviews have been ambiguous” about the issue, adds The Independent.

“Johnson has not publicly accepted there was a sexual relationship with Ms Arcuri, nor has he expressly denied that there was one,” the report says.

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The prime minister now faces a separate inquiry by the Greater London Authority (GLA) into allegations of conflict of interest during his time as mayor.

The investigation by City Hall was paused in October to allow the police watchdog to take over, but will now continue. 

The PM could be summoned by the GLA to answer questions in public, and “asked to apologise if found to have broken its code of conduct”, says The Times.

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