BORIS Johnson’s aides have blasted his referral to a cop watchdog over his relationship with a former US model as a “nakedly political put-up job”.
The Prime Minister was last night referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to assess whether there should be a criminal investigation over his relationship ex-model and businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.
Arcuri with then-London Mayor Boris Johnson. She declined to comment on her personal relationship with the Prime Minister[/caption]
It has been reported that Boris Johnson and Jennifer Accuri are close friends[/caption]
Ms Arcuri, 34, is alleged to have had an affair with the PM and a Sunday Times investigation accused his office of helping her get £126,000 grants and sponsorship for her companies.
The police watchdog will asses whether he should be investigated for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office while he was mayor of London.
But furious Downing Street sources have hit out at the move, branding it “nakedly political” after it emerged the referral came from the Greater London Authority (GLA), headed up by Labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The body said its monitoring officer had recorded a “conduct matter” against Mr Johnson over allegations Ms Arcuri received favourable treatment because of her friendship with him while he was mayor of London.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) will now consider whether there are grounds to investigate the Prime Minister for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.
The Downing Street Source said: “Due process has not been followed and the timing is overtly political.
“The public and media will rightly see through such a nakedly political put-up job.”
While Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said the issue had been “blown out of all proportion” and the complaint against Mr Johnson was “politically motivated”.
Due process has not been followed and the timing is overtly political.
Downing Street source
The former chief constable of Greater Manchester police Sir Peter Fahy, said: “There is an anomaly that the mayor of London and the mayor of Greater Manchester are also the police and crime commissioners, which isn’t the situation in other places.
“It does feel to be stretching the system a bit. There are other bodies that investigate misconduct in local government and that feels more appropriate to me.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: “It’s important to note that this was a decision by the GLA monitoring officer, who is a completely, independent non political official.”
Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: “Boris Johnson has repeatedly failed to answer these very serious allegations of misuse of his public office, and he now faces the possibility of a criminal investigation.
“Johnson may be part of an establishment that thinks it doesn’t have to abide by the same rules as everyone else, but the truth is catching up with him every day.”
Boris Johnson has repeatedly failed to answer these very serious allegations of misuse of his public office, and he now faces the possibility of a criminal investigation.
Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery
GLA statement said: “A ‘conduct matter’ exists where there is information that indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed.
“It does not mean that this is proved in any way. The IOPC will now consider if it is necessary for the matter to be investigated.”
The issue has been referred to the IOPC, which deals with complaints against police forces in England and Wales, because Mr Johnson at the time held the post equivalent to a police and crime commissioner.
Mr Johnson, who denies any wrongdoing, has previously said that he will co-operate with any investigation into his links with Ms Arcuri by the London Assembly.
The PM has insisted “everything was done entirely in the proper way” over his professional dealings with Miss Arcuri.
But he would not deny having an extramarital affair with her while he was London Mayor.
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Mr Johnson formed a close friendship with Miss Arcuri after the pair met in 2012, and took her on three trade trips with him.
A No 10 spokesman 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.”
Miss Acuri had a pole-dancing pole in her home and is a former model[/caption]
Arcuri, 34, is said to have described Mr Johnson as ‘one of her best friends’[/caption]
Johnson is currently dating 31-year-old Carrie Symonds[/caption]