Boris Johnson says he did not declare a conflict of interest over his friendship with Jennifer Arcuri because ‘there was no interest to declare’.
The PM dodged five questions over his relationship with Ms Arcuri during a TV interview – before finally giving the answer.
The US model-turned-businesswoman was reported to have told friends she had had an affair with Mr Johnson while he was Mayor of London.
She allegedly confided to four friends that they had been engaged in an affair during his time in City Hall, the Sunday Times reported today.
It’s claimed Ms Arcuri was given £126,000 in public money and privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Mr Johnson while he was mayor.
Mr Johnson has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to his links with Ms Arcuri.
And speaking to the BBC this morning, the PM was asked five times whether he had declared an interest.
On the sixth time, he said no, he had not declared an interest because “there was no interest to declare.”
Asked by Marr if he declared an interest relating to his links with Ms Arcuri when he was London mayor, the PM replied: “Everything was done in accordance with the code … and everything was done with full propriety.”
Pressed again, Mr Johnson said: “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.
“I may say that the current mayor of London could possibly spend more time investing in police officers than he is investing in press officers and peddling this kind of stuff.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock dismissed the claims surrounding Boris Johnson’s relationship with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri as a “squall”.
Asked on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme if the Prime Minister had questions to answer, Mr Hancock replied: “No.”
He went on: “My understanding is that there is an investigation. Any monies involved went through proper due process. This was a long time ago.
“Of course, in politics, there is always squalls and there are always debates about individuals.”