Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Jennifer Arcuri accuses Boris Johnson of 'casting her aside like a gremlin'
17 November 2019, 10:24
Jennifer Arcuri has accused Boris Johnson of “casting her aside like some gremlin” after their relationship came under public scrutiny as a potential conflict of interest.
The businesswoman’s links with Mr Johnson were examined earlier this year over allegations she received favourable treatment for her ventures during his stint as Mayor of London.
But she says after she tried to contact Mr Johnson for advice on how to handle the media interest, he “blocked and ignored her as if she was some fleeting one-night stand.”
Ms Arcuri has now told ITV Exposure that she had come under pressure from friends to "admit the affair,” but refused to say whether one took place and again would not be drawn on the nature of their relationship.
The show alleges the pair were involved in an affair for more than four years.
Ms Arcuri said: "When the story broke half the people that reached out told me to categorically deny, deny, deny the other half told me to, admit the, er, affair, fall on the sword get it over with."
Addressing Mr Johnson directly, Ms Arcuri added: "I've been nothing but loyal, faithful, supportive, and a true confidante of yours. I've kept your secrets, and I've been your friend.
"And I don't understand why you've blocked me and ignored me as if I was some fleeting one-night stand or some girl that you picked up at a bar because I wasn't - and you know that.
"And I'm terribly heartbroken by the way that you have cast me aside like I am some gremlin."
Mr Johnson has said his dealings with Ms Acuri were "done with complete propriety".
Asked by journalist John Ware if she wished Mr Johnson had declared their relationship as an interest, Ms Arcuri said: "I didn't know anything about having to declare me.
"Now if you're asking if he had declared me, would I have preferred that to avoid all of this humiliation? Absolutely."
Ms Arcuri said she became "collateral damage" from the controversy while Mr Johnson escaped "unaffected".
She was reportedly given £126,000 in public money and privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Mr Johnson while he was in City Hall.
Earlier in October, a City Hall investigation into their relationship was paused following a request by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) while a Government review ruled a £100,000 grant she was given by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport through a cyber skills fund was "appropriate".
In response to the programme a Conservative Party spokesman said: "Any claims of impropriety in office are untrue and unfounded.
"Given that City Hall has made an unfounded complaint to the Independent Office For Police Conduct, we will not be making detailed comments until that process has finished.
"Full assistance has been offered to the IOPC so the matter can be quickly resolved."
When Boris Met Jennifer will air on ITV at 11.05pm on Sunday.