Jennifer Arcuri says Boris Johnsons office knew of then London mayors crush on me

Technology entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri has said people in Boris Johnson’s office knew “he had somewhat of a crush on me” during the prime minister’s time as London mayor.

The 36-year-old, who has previously claimed to have had a four-year affair with Mr Johnson, described how “everyone could see the dramatic difference of this man when I entered the room”.

Ms Arcuri gave evidence on Tuesday to the Greater London Assembly’s oversight committee about her presence on international trade missions led by Mr Johnson when he was the city’s mayor.

She told assembly members that she was on trade missions to Malaysia, Washington DC and San Francisco and that, on occasion, she “wouldn’t take no for an answer” and “would just turn up”.

Asked if people in Mr Johnson’s office knew of a close relationship between herself and the then mayor, Ms Arcuri said: “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, you know, everyone could see the dramatic difference of this man when I entered the room.

“So there was not ever a time when I feel I had to say anything, people kind of assumed what they wanted.

“But there was never any discussion about any of it.”

Ms Arcuri also told assembly members that her relationship with Mr Johnson “had really no bearing” on her drive to build her business interests in London’s technology sector.

“Whether or not they assumed whatever they wanted, it didn’t change the fact that – really – Jennifer Arcuri was the most annoying, perseverant hustler,” she added.

“Even when they said no, I didn’t listen. I assumed yes – ‘just find another way to say yes to me’, I mean those were my words.

“I would invite them in relentlessly. So my relationship with the mayor – or non-relationship – had really no bearing on my complete pursuit of London and my ability to build the business.

“I had to fight like hell to get my visa to stay there. And so people knew that I was quite aggressive in my approach of not only selling my events and making sure the house was packed, but also networking within all the events readily available through the connections I could have.

“They would roll their eyes: ‘Look there’s Jennifer again, good luck saying no to her’.

“So that was more of the tone than sitting there going ‘hehe, let’s talk about the private life’.

“Because, like I said, there was plenty of that going on between them that really they didn’t have a finger to point at.”

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Last year, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded that no criminal inquiry was required after considering whether Mr Johnson should be investigated for misconduct in public office over his relationship with Ms Arcuri.

Government auditors had already ruled that a £100,000 grant to a firm run by Ms Arcuri was “appropriate”.

In March this year, Number 10 said Mr Johnson believed he had acted with “honesty and integrity” in the wake of allegations by Ms Arcuri that she and the then mayor had had sex on a sofa in his Islington home in 2016.

At the time, Mr Johnson was still married to second wife Marina Wheeler.

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