UK: Boris Johnson referred to police watchdog over possible corruption | News | DW | 28.09.2019
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UK: Boris Johnson referred to police watchdog over possible corruption

Johnson has been referred to a police watchdog over allegations of corruption during his time as London mayor. Meanwhile, he is facing a possible no confidence vote next week.

Boris Johnson was referred to a police watchdog on Friday over links to a US businesswoman whose companies were allegedly awarded state funding during his time as mayor of London, the body said.

British parliament reconvened this week when the Supreme Court ruled Johnson's decision to prorogue the institution unlawful and now the prime minister faces further scrutiny following the Greater London Authority's (GLA) referral.

Read more: Maker of London's distinctive 'Boris bus' collapses

The potential investigation concerns allegations over a conflict of interest with US entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri when Johnson was London mayor, from 2008 to 2016.

Arcuri reportedly participated in three foreign trade missions alongside Johnson, even though she was not eligible for the role she undertook.

Furthermore, the Sunday Times reported last week that Arcuri's firms received two sponsorship grants from the mayor's promotional agency while Johnson was in the position. A third handout worth £100,000 ($123,000) was also awarded to companies associated with the businesswoman earlier this year from a former ministerial colleague of Johnson in the government's Department for Digital, Culture and Sport.

Read more: UK Brexit ideas fall short, EU Parliament chief says

"The IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) can confirm we have received a referral from the Monitoring Officer of the Greater London Authority regarding a conduct matter against Boris Johnson and we are currently assessing this," the office said in a statement.

"This will take time to thoroughly assess and consider before any decision is taken as to whether it is necessary to investigate this matter."

Under fire from all corners

Johnson suffered a further setback this week when his sister condemned the leader`s rhetoric in parliament.

Rachel Johnson described her brother's words as a "particularly tasteless" when he was referring to Jo Cox, who was murdered by a far-right extremist in the run-up to the 2016 referendum on EU membership.

She added: "Words like collaborationist, traitor, betrayal, my brother using words like surrender, capitulation, as if the people who are standing in the way of the blessed will of the people as defined by 17.4 million votes in 2016 should be hung, drawn, quartered, tarred and feathered," she said. "I think that it highly reprehensible language to use."

Watch video 00:41

Johnson challenges opposition to call confidence vote

jsi/aw (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)

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