Jennifer Arcuri refuses to deny Boris Johnson affair during grilling on Good Morning Britain

James Morris

Jennifer Arcuri has refused to deny she had an affair with Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London, but "categorically" rejected any impropriety.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Ms Arcuri, asked if she had an intimate relationship with Mr Johnson, said: “I am really not going to answer that question. I am being used as a pawn. This entire thing is a crazy charade.

“Boris had nothing to do with my achievements.”

The tech entrepreneur and former model was reportedly given £126,000 in public money and privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Mr Johnson while he was in City Hall.

Boris Johnson's friendship with Jennifer Arcuri has come under scrutiny

Mr Johnson has denied any wrongdoing. He has said everything he did when promoting London overseas as mayor was done in "complete conformity with the code and the rules".

In the interview with Susannah Reid and Piers Morgan on Monday, Ms Arcuri "categorically" denied financial impropriety as she was questioned over her relationship with the Prime Minister.

Ms Arcuri told the programme: “These are insinuations and third party heresy.

“Would you like me to ask about your sex life? I am objectified.”

She went on: “I think we’re forgetting that Boris is extremely personable. It wasn’t like he singled me out. He is there to talk to anybody if they get in his face enough.

“It’s unfortunate a good friend… now I’m dragged into this horrific scandal. The answer is now going to be weaponised against this man.

“Boris never ever gave me favouritism. Never once did he ask for a favour.

“He only knew me as an extremely passionate entrepreneur.”

She said she "never" discussed grants and sponsorship with Mr Johnson.

Ms Arcuri said she first met Mr Johnson after he made a speech in October 2011.

“I turn around,” she recalled, “and there’s this guy with his hair all dishevelled and shirt untucked… he turns the entire room of curmudgeoned men into howling schoolgirls. That’s when I was like: ‘Who is this guy?’”

Ms Arcuri said she had Mr Johnson’s name in her phone book as “Alex the Great.” He spoke at four tech events she hosted.

“I always made sure Boris got a win out of my events. Every event he came to had a strategic advantage to him.”

Ms Arcuri said she invited him to his office – in her Shoreditch flat.

Asked how many times he visited, she said: “A handful over a few years, I don’t really know.”

When pressed further, she said: “Five times? Ten times? Six times. Seven times. I’ve told you a handful of times. We will say five.”

Asked if she thought it was normal behaviour for the mayor of London to visit, Ms Arcuri said: “No, I didn’t think it was awkward at all.”

Ms Arcuri was also asked if she used a dancing pole, which had been installed in the flat, during any of the then-mayor's visits.

“Oh god," she replied. "No! Categorically not. If anything, I asked him.”

Asked if he did use it, Ms Arcuri said: “No, I am never going to tell you that.

“Can you imagine Boris Johnson on a pole? He sat down with his tea.”

Ms Arcuri said she stopped speaking to the Prime Minister in 2016.

Asked if she has had any contact with Mr Johnson since the row broke out last month, she said: “Absolutely not.”

She added: "I don’t need him to call me right now. Britain needs him right now. Britain needs him to deal with Brexit."

Asked if she ever loved Mr Johnson, Ms Arcuri said: "I have been asked that many times. I care about him deeply as a friend.”

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