British PM Boris Johnson Faces Investigation over Relations with American Model and Biz Friend Jennifer Arcuri
| Jo Birring, Global Expert, Anti- Financial Crimes, UK, USA, EU - 28 Sep 2019

The Greater London Authority has referred UK PM Johnson to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for a possible investigation into whether he committed misconduct in a public office in connection to his friendship with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.

By Jo Birring

London, Sep 28, 2019: The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to face Police investigation into whether he committed misconduct in a public office in connection to his friendship with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.

The Greater London Authority has referred UK PM Johnson to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for a possible investigation into whether he committed misconduct in a public office in connection to his friendship with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.

The London Assembly has given Prime Minister Johnson two weeks to explain a “potential conflict of interest” involving the decision to invite model-turned-technology pioneer Jennifer Arcuri onto mayoral trips abroad.

According to Daily Mail:

  • Boris Johnson's friend Jennifer Arcuri applied for her £100k government grant in October 2018, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport today confirmed 
  • Culture Minister Matt Warman told Parliament that Arcuri's firm Hacker House was awarded the money because it was registered in Britain
  • But a couple living at the Cheshire address registered to Arcuri's firm Hacker House say they moved into the property in October 2018
  • They said the landlord told them Arcuri had moved out at least a month earlier and moved to the US
  • A phone number on the Hacker House website is also answered in California, despite Warman's claims it is a British company 

Boris Johnson faced a demand to reveal the full extent of his “personal, social and professional” links to a Californian entrepreneur who secured a place on three City Hall foreign trade missions when he was mayor.

Jennifer Arcuri: who is Boris Johnson's 'close friend', whose business received £120,000 in public money when he was Mayor of London?

Revealed: Johnson's glamorous pal Jennifer applied for £100k govt grant using UK address 'ONE MONTH after moving out of the property and running firm in the US.

The US businesswoman embroiled in a conflict of interest row over her close friendship with Boris Johnson won a highly sought after entrepreneur visa to stay in the UK after securing the prime minister’s endorsement for her firm, the Guardian has learnt.

Jennifer Arcuri’s company is being investigated over its eligibility for a £100,000 taxpayer-funded grant.

Just months after Johnson helped to raise her firm Innotech’s profile by giving keynote speeches at two of its first events, Arcuri won a place on a prestigious government-run visa scheme, giving her firm £15,000 in public funds.

On September 22nd the Sunday Times had published a cracker of a story alleging that during his time as mayor of London in 2008-16, Boris Johnson failed to declare his friendship with Jennifer Arcuri, a young American businesswoman then resident in London.

According to the paper, Ms Arcuri joined three foreign trade missions with Mr Johnson in one year, despite being ineligible for any of them. She also received at least £11,500 ($18,000) in funding from London and Partners, a promotional body overseen by the mayor.

Another of Ms Arcuri’s companies received £100,000 from the culture department. Mr Johnson spoke at several tech gatherings organised by Ms Arcuri and is said to have frequently visited her Shoreditch flat during lunch breaks, for what she reportedly says were technology lessons.

Mr Johnson refused to answer questions over the nature of his relationship with Ms Arcuri six times as he flew to New York for the UN General Assembly. Mr Johnson replied: “I’m going to talk about what we’re doing at the UN.”

When he eventually broke his silence, it was only to say: “Everything was done with complete propriety and in the normal way.” Reporters scented blood. Yet after the Supreme Court delivered its dramatic verdict on September 24th, the Arcuri affair was relegated to the middle pages.

However, the new move by the Greater London Authority could result in Mr Johnson being legally summonsed to appear before a City Hall committee, and came as a troubleshooter was set to be appointed to investigate how places on trade missions were allocated.

The Sunday Times claimed Ms Arcuri secured a place on a November 2015 trip to Tel Aviv at the request of the Mayor’s Office after having been turned down by London & Partners, the City Hall-funded tourism and investment organisation.

Ms Arcuri, 34, was also among the delegates taken on mayoral trips to Malaysia and Singapore in November 2014 and to New York in February 2015.

Her firm Innotech received £10,000 from London & Partners in sponsorship in 2013, and £1,500 in 2014.

Mr Johnson reportedly spoke at four of her company’s events and visited her flat in Shoreditch during gaps in his mayoral diary. He was mayor for eight years to May 2016.

Len Duvall, Labour chairman of the Assembly’s Greater London Authority oversight committee, last night wrote to Mr Johnson to request “details and a timeline of all contact with Jennifer Arcuri during your period of office as Mayor, including personal, social and professional”, and “an explanation of how that alleged personal relationship was disclosed”.

He was asked by one reporter: “The Sunday Times has heavy innuendo that you’re in a sexual relationship with Jennifer Arcuri — considering public funds were involved, can you clarify your relationship with her?”

The Daily Mail has reported that the total amount of public money received by Ms Arcuri’s firms had risen to more than £26,000 as details of a fourth grant emerged. Innotech shared a £12,447 City Hall handout to several companies to help fund a trade mission to South Africa in 2013, it reported.

City Hall records show Mr Johnson was asked in December 2014 to name the guests on his Far East trip.

He did not include Ms Arcuri’s name in his official written response. Ms Arcuri told the Sunday Times: “Any grants received by my companies and any trade mission I joined were purely in respect of my role as a legitimate businesswoman.”

Pic Courtesy- Evening Standard / Daily Star / Jennifer Arcuri Facebook / The Times / Telegraph

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