Boris Johnson: Jennifer Arcuri claims PM cast her aside 'like a one night stand'

16 November 2019, 16:28 | Updated: 18 November 2019, 02:18

Jennifer Arcuri, the US businesswoman embroiled in controversy over the extent of her relationship with Boris Johnson, has said that the prime minister treated her like a "gremlin" when she asked for help on handling the media.

Speaking to ITV Exposure, Ms Arcuri claimed Mr Johnson snubbed and "hung up" on her when she tried to make contact with him several times.

She refused to say whether the pair were involved in an affair and again would not be drawn on the nature of their relationship, but did say she had come under pressure from friends to "admit the affair".

"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," she said.

Addressing Mr Johnson directly, Ms Arcuri added: "I've been nothing but loyal, faithful, supportive, and a true confidante of yours.

"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."

The 34-year-old former model has come under intense scrutiny over claims she received favourable treatment for her business ventures when Mr Johnson was London mayor.

Mr Johnson has said all his dealings with Ms Arcuri were "done with complete propriety".

Ms Arcuri told the show that she wished that Mr Johnson had declared their relationship, saying that she had become "collateral damage" while the prime minister seemed to have escaped "unaffected".

She was reportedly given access to several foreign trade missions, as well as more than £125,000 while Mr Johnson was mayor of London - a claim being investigated by City Hall.

However, the investigation was paused while a government review in October found that a £100,000 grant given to her by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for her work was "appropriate".

Ms Arcuri revealed that the first time she tried to contact Mr Johnson's personal phone since the controversy began, she was passed to someone else who spoke in Chinese.

She also claimed that Mr Johnson told her there were "bigger things at stake" when she made another attempt to contact him.

She said: "I was brushed off as if I was one of Kennedy's girlfriends showing up to his White House switchboard, you know, here to do my, you know, calling.

"And I felt so disgusted and humiliated that I was told bigger things are at stake, never mind you, he's too busy for you."

In response to the programme, a Conservative Party spokesman said: "Any claims of impropriety in office are untrue and unfounded. We consider these are vexatious and politically motivated attacks from the Labour Party in City Hall.

"Previous vexatious and unfounded allegations against the prime minister have been thrown out by the courts. An independent review by the Government Internal Audit Agency showed the claims made by the Labour Party about Ms Arcuri's company were false.

"Given that City Hall has made an unfounded complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), 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 17 November.