Boris Johnson referred to police watchdog over possible corruption and favourable treatment to businesswoman

The police watchdog is to decide whether or not to investigate Boris Johnson for a potential criminal offence of misconduct in public office while he was London mayor.

It is alleged businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri received favourable treatment due to her friendship with Mr Johnson.

The prime minister was referred by the Greater London Authority on Friday.

Meanwhile, Johnson has denied any impropriety.

The allegations regarding Mr Johnson’s friendship with technology entrepreneur Ms Arcuri first emerged last weekend in the Sunday Times.

They refer to claims that Ms Arcuri joined trade missions led by Mr Johnson when he was mayor of London and that her company received several thousand pounds in sponsorship grants.

The Greater London Authority’s monitoring officer – whose job it is to monitor the conduct of the mayor and other members – said it had written to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

It said it had referred the PM to the IOPC “so it can assess whether or not it is necessary to investigate the former mayor of London for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office”.

In a letter to the PM setting out the referral, the monitoring officer says: “The conduct matter relates to your time as mayor of London between 2008 and 2016.

“During this time it has been brought to my attention that you maintained a friendship with Ms Jennifer Arcuri and as a result of that friendship allowed Ms Arcuri to participate in trade missions and receive sponsorship monies in circumstances when she and her companies could not have expected otherwise to receive those benefits.”

Responding to these allegations No 10 said: “The prime minister, as Mayor of London, did a huge amount of work when selling our capital city around the world, beating the drum for London and the UK.

“Everything was done with propriety and in the normal way.”

The Conservative Party conference is suppose to start in a few days, therefore the timing of these allegations has come under the scanner, and many rubbished them as a politically motivated attack.

Source : Various