Monday, 19 October 2020_The US technology entrepreneur, Jennifer Arcuri, has admitted to having an affair with Boris Johnson when the Prime Minister was London mayor.
Allegations about the affair emerged in October 2019 after it was revealed that Arcuri had been provided with £126,000 in public money, in addition to access to three overseas trade missions, even though she was not qualified for it.
The public funds and privileged access was extended to Arcuri when Johnson was serving as the mayor of London (2008-2016).
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - a Police watchdog) reportedly looked into whether the PM should face criminal charges, on the grounds of misconduct in public office, but in the end decided to take no action.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail (17 October), Mercuri said “I think that goes without saying … It’s pretty much out there”, when asked if she had had an affair with Johnson.
Arcuri, 35, claims the PM bombarded her with “avalanches of passion” and was “angry” and “upset” after he discovered she was pregnant by another man, who she later married.
For her part, Arcuri claims that although she “deeply” cared for Johnson but that she never “recognized” being in love with him.
The American businesswoman’s open admission of an affair with Johnson inevitably raises the question if the PM should be re-investigated and potentially prosecuted on the ground of misconduct in public office.
Although the IOPC decided against a criminal investigation, nevertheless its 112-page report concluded that the PM should have declared an “interest” in the relationship and that this omission on his part could have amounted to a “breach” of the Greater London assembly’s code of conduct.
The IOPC’s director general, Michael Lockwood, made the following statement back in May: “While there was no evidence that Mr Johnson influenced the payment of sponsorship monies or participation in trade missions, there was evidence to suggest that those officers making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making”.