UK PM Johnson responds to London Assembly over U.S. businesswoman allegations
LONDON – The London Assembly said on Tuesday it had received a response from Prime Minister Boris Johnson after it asked him to clarify newspaper allegations about his relationship with U.S. businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.
The Sunday Times has reported that when Johnson was mayor of London he failed to declare close personal links to Arcuri, who received thousands of pounds in public business funding and places on official trade trips.
The London Assembly is an elected body that scrutinises the activities of the mayor and forms part of the Greater London Authority (GLA), the capital’s devolved regional governance body.
It had given Johnson 14 days to respond to its request for information, but that deadline expired at 1700 GMT on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the assembly said it received a letter on behalf of Johnson at 1803 GMT. She said the assembly was not currently able to publish it.
A spokesman for Johnson said the prime minister did not recognise the deadline set by the assembly.
The GLA said last month it had referred Johnson to Britain’s police watchdog for potential investigation over allegations of misconduct involving Arcuri.
The GLA said the allegations were that Johnson had a friendship with Arcuri and as a result of that friendship allowed her to participate in trade missions and receive sponsorship.
Johnson has said everything was done with full propriety and that there was no interest to declare. When asked for comment on Monday, he said: “I have really said everything I want to say about that.”
Arcuri told an interviewer on Monday: “Boris never ever gave me favouritism, never once did I ask him for a favour, never once did he write a letter of recommendation for me.”
Both she and Johnson have declined to answer questions regarding an alleged affair while he was London mayor between 2008 and 2016.
(Content & Photos Syndicated Via Reuters)
(Reporting by Stephen Addison, additional reporting by James Davey; Editing by Dan Grebler)