Boris Johnson wrote letter 'backing Jennifer Arcuri for £100k-a-year quango job' while London mayor

Posted On: 
6th October 2019

Boris Johnson wrote a letter recommending Jennifer Arcuri for a £100k-a-year quango role while serving as London mayor, it has been reported.

The Prime Minister has come under further pressure to explain his relationship with the American businesswoman
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister is under fresh pressure to explain his links with the American businesswoman after leaked emails, seen by the Sunday Times, appear to show he backed her for a £100,000-a-year role while she was still a student.

Ms Arcuri listed the then-mayor as a reference on her CV when she applied for the role as chief executive of the Government-backed technology quango, Tech City, which was seeking applications from "proven business leaders".

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According to the paper, Ms Arcuri, who was just 27-years-old when she applied for the executive role, allegedly wrote: "I still have the letter of rec from Boris. hahaha

"To think that we asked him to write us a recommendation for the CEO of Tech City is just hysterical."

In another email, she added: "I want to walk him [Boris Johnson] through the reasons... Why I want the job and why I could do it.

"As well as explain I need no official public endorsement as long as helps me by writing the letter. (which of course I said we would do.)"

The report comes after Mr Johnson claimed he had "no interest to declare" over his relationship with Ms Arcuri, which saw her invited on trade missions and given a total of £126,000 in public grants during his time in City Hall.

But Mr Johnson has until Monday to reply to concerns raised by the Greater London Authority after they called for the Independent Office for Police Conduct to consider whether he should face investigation for misconduct in public office.

Meanwhile, senior MPs including former Attorney General Dominic Grieve have the urged the Prime Minister to explain why he backed Ms Arcuri for the government funded role.

He told the Sunday Times: "The fact that Boris Johnson was apparently prepared to provide a letter of endorsement for an extremely important job to somebody who didn't have anything remotely approaching the necessary qualifications is astonishing.

"It's all the more astonishing if, as is being widely suggested, he was having a personal relationship, which he didn't disclose."

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson added: "These allegations raise serious questions about the ease with which this prime minister wilfully abuses power."

And Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "Boris Johnson must now answer questions on the record about these allegations."