Thursday 21 May 2020 12:35 pm

Boris Johnson will not face criminal investigation over Jennifer Arcuri relationship

Boris Johnson will not face criminal charges over his relationship with US entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri.

A probe by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the police watchdog, found there were no grounds to criminally investigate the Prime Minister.

Read more: Police watchdog probe into Johnson and Arcuri not expected before May

It had been alleged that Johnson had used his position of power to allow Arcuri to benefit financially while he was mayor of London.

A statement released today said: “The IOPC’s Operation Lansdowne review 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.”

It was first revealed last year that Arcuri had received a series of City Hall and government grants, after forging a close friendship with Johnson when he was mayor of London.

This included an £11,000 grant from mayoral organisation London and Partners while Johnson was mayor.

She was also allowed to travel on City Hall trade missions to New York and Tel Aviv without meeting the necessary criteria during Johnson’s second mayoral term.

IOPC director general Michael Lockwood said there was no evidence Johnson used his power to influence any grants or trade mission decisions involving Arcuri, however he added that high-level officials may have been influenced in by the knowledge that the pair had “a close relationship”.

The IOPC report in fact found “there may have been an intimate relationship” between Johnson and Arcuri.

Listen to our daily City View podcast as we chart the economic fallout and business impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Arcuri’s company Hacker House was also given a £100,000 grant by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) last year.

After an inquiry into the grant, it was deemed “not unreasonable”.

Official inquiries by the London Assembly and mayor of London into Johnson’s relationship with Arcuri were stalled last year, after the IOPC asked both inquiries to wait for the results of its probe.

London Assembly Oversight Committee chair Len Duvall today said his investigation would continue, despite the IOPC’s findings.

“Everyone who holds public office whether you’re the mayor of London, or indeed the prime minister, is expected to adhere to the principles of public life – including integrity, selflessness, openness and honesty, to name a few,” he said.

Read more: Arcuri blasts Prime Minister for treating her like ‘one night stand’

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

“It’s important we get those answers, because Londoners deserve to have their politicians held accountable.”