‘Everyone could see the dramatic difference of this man when I entered the room,’ American businesswoman says
Ms Arcuri, who attended trade missions with Mr Johnson during his tenure as mayor of London, has previously claimed she had an intimate relationship with the now prime minister between 2012 et 2016.
Her comments came amid a hearing by the Greater London Assembly probing how businesses become involved in the GLA in relation to overseas visits and opportunities to receive taxpayer-funded sponsorships.
A separate inquiry by the Bureau indépendant pour la conduite de la police (FIPOL) found no evidence the then-mayor influenced the payments of thousands of pounds to the US businesswoman and said it would not launch a criminal investigation in 2020.
pourtant, it suggested Mr Johnson would have been “wise” to declare a conflict of interests, suggesting failure to do so could breach the Nolan principles of conduct in public life. The prime minister’s previous press secretary has claimed he acted with “honesty and integrity” in his relations with Ms Arcuri.
Facing questions from the London Assembly’s oversight committee on Wednesday over her former relationship with the mayor and whether his office were aware, elle a dit: “I don’t necessarily want to go into answering personal details”.
pourtant, she went on: “It was not so much that people knew about my secrets anymore than I knew of theirs – I could name at least three high profile figures.
“People knew that there was an interest of the mayor in me, that he had somewhat of a crush on me when we went to events, everyone could see the dramatic difference of this man when I entered the room.
“There was not ever a time where I felt I had to say anything — people kind of assumed what they wanted, but there was never any discussion about any of it.”
Asked whether people in the mayor’s office were aware and whether they should have declared anything, Ms Arcuri went on: “Whether or not they assumed whatever they wanted, it didn’t change the fact that really Jennifer Arcuri was the most annoying, perseverant hustler.
“My relationship with the mayor, or non-relationship, had really no bearing in my complete pursuit of London and my ability to build a business.”
Ms Arcuri said she formally attended a trade mission to Malaysia in 2014, adding others weren’t “mentioned in the press”, including a cyber-select mission to Washington DC, and a trade mission to San Francisco.
“I would just go and show up and find my London friends," elle a dit. “Because that’s what it takes to build a business.”
She later added: “The mission I remember being a formal delegate on was the one to Malaysia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur.”
Pressed on whether she offered her opinions or ideas with the mayor on how trade missions could be improve, Ms Arcuri added: “I am definitely one to give my opinions. I gave my opinions on many things.
“Things like the trade missions were not on my agenda of issues to discuss. He asked ‘how was the trade mission, was it beneficial for you?’ and I would say yes, all is well, and that would be the end of it. There would be never any kind of discussion beyond that. I would never go in details.”
Speaking earlier this year, Mr Johnson’s former press secretary said: “Of course the prime minister follows the Nolan principles when conducting himself in public life.”
Asked whether Mr Johnson would be prepared to give evidence to the GLA’s oversight committee, she replied: “I’m just not going to get into these hypotheticals. An independent body has looked at this in depth and found no case to answer.”