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  • Allegations say that Johnson

    Allegations say that Johnson "had a friendship with Arcuri so he allowed her to receive sponsorships” | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 December 2019

This comes as the ongoing battle with Brexit continues and the Dec. 12 upcoming general election in the U.K. will be held next week. 

The London City Council has asked an independent British police body to investigate whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson engaged in a conflict of interest by benefiting a United States businesswoman when he was mayor of London between 2008 and 2016.

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Technology entrepreneur and former model Jennifer Arcuri received about US$157,000 from public money and privileged access to three London City Council trade missions abroad, according to The Sunday Times.

The current British PM participated on four occasions as a guest speaker at Arcuri's company presentations and was a close friend of the businesswoman, whom he frequently visited in his apartment, according to the newspaper.

The City of London reported Tuesday that the Independent Police Conduct Office (IPCO) has been asked to investigate whether Arcuri benefited from his relationship with the mayor.

The issue has been referred to the IPCO  because the mayor of the British capital holds at the same time a position equivalent to a police command.

The council said in a statement that there have been allegations that Johnson "had a friendship with Jennifer Arcuri and as a result of that friendship allowed Arcuri to participate in business trips and receive sponsorships."

The request to investigate the case arises because "there is information that a crime could have been committed," although "it does not in any way mean that this is proven."

"The IPCO will now consider whether it is necessary for the matter to be investigated," the City Council's note reads.

A spokesman for Downing Street, Johnson's official office as head of government, denied any conflict of interest in this case.

"The prime minister, as mayor of London, did an enormous amount of work to sell our capital around the world," that source said, assuring that "everything was done properly and in the normal way."

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