Boris Johnson avoids criminal investigation into Jennifer Arcuri relationship

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has avoided a criminal investigation over allegations he used his position while London mayor to get favourable treatment for businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri despite the police watchdog finding evidence they may have had an "intimate relationship".

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded that no criminal inquiry was required following an eight-month scoping exercise into whether Johnson should be investigated for misconduct in public office over his friendship with Arcuri.

The IOPC said it found "no evidence indicating 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".

Mr Johnson denied any wrongdoing, saying everything was done with full propriety and that there was no interest to declare.

However, they did find that officers at City Hall when Johnson was Mayor of London were influenced by the belief that Johnson was in a close relationship with Arcuri.

The IOPC said in its decision, "there is some evidence that Mr. Johnson and Ms. Arcuri may have been in an intimate relationship during some of the relevant time period when Ms. Arcuri attended trade missions".

"An independent review by the Government Internal Audit Agency similarly showed the claims made by the Labour Party were false This was not a policing matter, and we consider this was a waste of police time".

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".

The Greater London Authority immediately announced that its investigation into Johnson's conduct would continue, even though a criminal investigation has now been ruled out.

Arcuri has declined to confirm or deny a romantic relationship with Johnson, telling Bloomberg News last October that he had been a "good friend" whom she had tutored on technology matters such as how to use Google Hangout.

The matter was referred to the watchdog because Johnson was head of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, a role equivalent to a police commissioner, during his 2008-2016 term as mayor. "That's not our remit and their decision doesn't have any real bearing on our investigation, which will focus on his conduct as Mayor of London".

The Prime Minister welcomed the development and criticised the "vexatious claims" that he helped aid and reward the American when she received thousands of pounds of public money and access to foreign trade trips he led as mayor.

IOPC supervisor basic Michael Lockwood stated: "The IOPC finished an extensive, independent and also neutral analysis to identify if there were practical premises to presume the criminal offense of transgression in public workplace had actually happened".

"Our investigation will consider whether Boris Johnson conducted himself in a way that's expected from anyone in that position".

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