Boris Johnson 'confirms' Jennifer Arcuri affair but says he acted with 'integrity'

The Prime Minister was asked about the relationship during a Downing Street briefing, almost a month after US tech entrepreneur Ms Arcuri admitted to a four-year affair with Mr Johnson while he was Mayor of London

BORIS JOHNSON CONFIRMS JENNIFER ARCURI AFFAIR BUT SAYS HE ACTED WITH ‘INTEGRITY’

Boris Johnson appeared to confirm for the first time that he had an affair with Jennifer Arcuri - but says he acted with "integrity".

The Prime Minister was asked about the relationship during a Downing Street briefing, almost a month after US tech entrepreneur Ms Arcuri admitted to a four-year affair with Mr Johnson while he was Mayor of London.

Ms Arcuri told the Mirror one of their liaisons took place in the family home Mr Johnson shared with his now ex-wife Marina Wheeler.

During the press conference, HuffPost's Paul Waugh asked the Prime Minister about his commitment to the "Nolan Principles", which set out the expected standards of behaviour in public life.

He said the raging Greensill lobbying scandal had "sparked a lot of interest in whether the Nolan Principles of Public Life have any teeth or relevance any more."

Mr Johnson said he acted with "integrity" (Image: Getty Images)

And he asked the Prime Minister: "Do you agree with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which in its review of your links with Jennifer Arcuri concluded, and I quote, 'It would have been wise for mr Johnson to declare this as a conflict of interest and a failure to do so could have constituted a breach of the Nolan Principles'.

"And those principles include acting with honesty and integrity. Do you believe you acted with honesty and integrity in your relationship with Miss Arcuri, who claims you conducted your affair in your marital home?”

But in attempting to swerve the question, the Prime Minister apparently admitted to the affair.

After a lengthy answer to a previous question, Mr Johnson said: "My answer to your second question is, 'Yes'.”

Leaving no time for follow-ups, Mr Johnson swiftly drew the press conference to a close, turning tail and leaving the Downing Street briefing room.

Mr Johnson has never accepted that he had an affair with Ms Arcuri, but he has not denied it either.

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: "Tory sleaze is back.

"I rarely believe what Boris Johnson says when it comes to sleaze and integrity, that's why I wrote to the Prime Minister demanding that he prove that there was no special treatment in the awarding of public money and preferential access to Jennifer Arcuri."

The IOPC decided against a criminal investigation into Mr Johnson's links to Ms Arcuri last May, finding no evidence he had influenced the payment of thousands of pounds in grants to her or secured her participation in foreign trips that he led.

Ms Arcuri admitted the affair to the Sunday Mirror last month (Image: Sunday Mirror)

But the IOPC report found that there was “some evidence" that the pair may have been "in an intimate relationship”.

The decision stated that it “would have been wise” for Mr Johnson to have declared their “close association” as a conflict of interest.

The IOPC also suggested the Greater London Authority's oversight committee could investigate the matter further. The committee could summons the PM to give evidence this autumn.

IOPC Director General Michael Lockwood said: "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.”

Ms Arcuri admitted to the affair in a world exclusive interview with the Sunday Mirror last month.

She revealed she had slept with Boris Johnson in his family home while his wife Marina Wheeler was away.

And she revealed the four-year affair with the PM had begun in August 2012 - hours before he sat next to the royals at the Paralympic opening ceremony.

The PM swiftly left the briefing room after attempting to swerve the question (Image: REUTERS)

Ms Arcuri said she and the PM bonded over their love of classic literature before they began sleeping together and swapping intimate messages.

During his second mayoral term, she claimed Mr Johnson was a regular visitor to her flat in Shoreditch, East London – which had a dancing pole – and often popped in on his way home from City Hall.

Asked about the allegations in September 2019, Mr Johnson told the BBC: "There was no interest to declare… let’s be absolutely clear, I am very, very proud of everything that we did and certainly everything that I did as mayor of London.”

Mr Johnson split with long-suffering Marina in 2018, shortly before news of his relationship with former Tory spin doctor Carrie Symonds became public.

He now lives in Downing Street with his fiancee Ms Symonds, 33, who gave birth to their son Wilfred last year, and the couple’s dog Dilyn.

 

Source: The Daily Mirror

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-confirms-jennifer-arcuri-23949633

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