UK & US

Boris Johnson may have had ‘intimate relationship’ with American businesswoman

The prime minister will not face a police investigation into his links with an American businesswoman, but a review has found he had a "close association" with Jennifer Arcuri and there may have been an "intimate relationship".

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has announced the findings of its investigation into allegations surrounding Boris Johnson and his relationship with Ms Arcuri.

Mr Johnson has faced accusations that he used his position while mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 to benefit and reward Ms Arcuri.

September: Johnson on Arcuri allegations

Multiple inquiries were launched after it emerged she was given more than £125,000 in public money and privileged access to overseas trade missions led by Mr Johnson during his time as London mayor.

The PM has previously told Sky News that "everything was done with complete propriety" when asked about the allegations.

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Downing Street welcomed the news, describing the complaint as "politically motivated"

"Such vexatious claims of impropriety in office were untrue and unfounded," a spokesman for the PM said, adding: "This was not a policing matter, and we consider this was a waste of police time."

More from Boris Johnson

In October, government auditors deemed that a £100,000 grant awarded to Ms Arcuri was "appropriate".

Ms Arcuri has said any grants received by her companies and any trade missions she joined were "purely in respect of my role as a legitimate businesswoman".

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She has insisted she "never, ever" received any favouritism from Mr Johnson when he was London mayor, but refused to say whether they had an affair.

Ms Arcuri has said it is "really categorically no one's business what private life we had, or didn't have".

Neither Mr Johnson nor Ms Arcuri have denied that they were involved in an affair.

In the police watchdog's report it details a "Witness A" as telling the inquiry that Ms Arcuri disclosed to them that she and Mr Johnson were in a sexual relationship.

Independent Office for Police Conduct director general Michael Lockwood said the watchdog carried out a "thorough, independent and impartial assessment" into whether there were "reasonable grounds" to suspect "the criminal offence of misconduct in public office had occurred".

"We found no evidence to indicate that Mr Johnson influenced the payment of any sponsorship monies to Ms Arcuri or that he influenced or played an active part in securing her participation in trade missions," he concluded.

But the watchdog said it "would have been wise" for Mr Johnson to have declared their "close association" as a conflict of interest.

Mr Lockwood said that officials making decisions about funding and trade trips may have been influenced by Mr Johnson's "close relationship" with Ms Arcuri.

And the report found there was "some evidence" that Mr Johnson may have been aware that Ms Arcuri was on an attendee list for a trade mission event in New York, even though he disputed it.

The allegations were referred to the IOPC by the Greater London Authority in September.

Jennifer Arcuri has refused to answer questions on whether she had an affair with Boris Johnson.
October: Johnson 'never gave me favouritism' – Arcuri

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