Johnson declines to deny allegations he failed to declare potential conflicts

Boris Johnson
Support us and go ad-free

Boris Johnson has declined to deny allegations that he failed to declare potential conflicts of interest as London mayor over the allocation of public money to a model turned technology entrepreneur.

The prime minister repeatedly refused to comment on allegations centring on his association with Jennifer Arcuri, during sustained questioning on his flight to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

The Sunday Times reported that Arcuri, an American who moved to London seven years ago, was given £126,000 in public money and was treated to privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Johnson.

The PM declined to clarify the nature of his relationship with the woman and declined chances to deny any allegations in the report.

First asked on board the RAF Voyager whether he would refute the claims, he said: “I’m here to talk about what we are doing in the UN and this country’s commitment to tackling climate change stopping the loss of biodiversity and our role as serving as a bridge between our European friends…”

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

He did not directly respond to six questions, including whether the allegations could be solved with a public enquiry.

When asked to clarify the nature of their relationship, he replied: “If you will forgive me we are going to talk exclusively about what we are doing here in the UN.”

Shadow minister for the cabinet office Jon Trickett has called for the PM to explain the matter fully.

“Boris Johnson must now give a full account of his actions in response to these grave and most serious allegations of the misuse of public money in his former role as mayor of London,” the Labour MP said.

“The public has a right to know how and why these funds were used for the benefit of a close personal friend without on the face of it legitimate reason.”

Arcuri did not comment to the Sunday Times about the nature of her relationship with the PM.

“Any grants received by my companies and any trade mission I joined were purely in respect of my role as a legitimate businesswoman,” she said in a statement to the paper.

The newspaper investigation reported that Arcuri’s business received £10,000 in sponsorship from an organisation overseen by Johnson as mayor in 2013.

A further £15,000 was said to have come in 2014 and a £100,000 grant from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport earlier this year.

Downing Street has declined to comment.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us