Wednesday 9 October 2019 1:29 pm

London Assembly seeks legal advice on Boris Johnson response to Arcuri allegations

The London Assembly is seeking legal advice on whether it can publish Boris Johnson’s response to corruption allegations.

A Number 10 representative delivered a submission on behalf of the prime minister last night in response to an alleged conflict of interest in his dealings with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.

Read more: Jennifer Arcuri refuses to say whether relationship with Boris Johnson was sexual

However, the London Assembly said Number 10 had marked the letter as “not for publication” and was not able to publicly release the document.

A London Assembly spokeswoman said the body was “frustrated and not happy”, and was seeking legal advice to find out if it could publish the response.

A Tory source said this was another example of “political grandstanding” by the assembly.

“We were disappointed to see the false information given out yesterday to media and now letters being leaked,” they said.

The allegations levelled against Johnson are in regards to a £126,000 grant given to Arcuri while he was Mayor of London.

The pair were reportedly close friends at the time, with some claiming Johnson was having an affair with the American entrepreneur.

Arcuri was also chosen to be a part of a trade mission to New York and Tel Aviv, despite not having the required qualifications.

It was revealed on Sunday that Johnson wrote a letter of recommendation for the 34-year-old in 2012 for a £100,00-a-year quango job she was not qualified for.

The London Assembly can make anyone who has been mayor within the past eight years to “attend proceedings of the assembly for the purpose of giving evidence; or produce to the assembly documents in their possession or under their control”.

It has asked the prime minister for a timeline of all contact between him and Arcuri. This includes text messages and emails.

Len Duvall, Labour chairman of the assembly’s oversight committee, said: “The allegations of potential misuse of taxpayers’ money are no laughing matter.

“We will be taking this further.

“Next week, the Oversight Committee will meet to discuss those options and decide on its next course of action.”

Johnson has denied all notions of impropriety.

Read more: Boris Johnson blames Sadiq Khan for fuelling Arcuri claims

“I may say that the current mayor of London could possibly spend more time investing in police than he is investing in press officers and peddling this kind of stuff,” he said last week.

Arcuri refused to confirm or deny whether her relationships with Johnson were of a sexual nature.

Main image credit: Getty