Boris Johnson's Arcuri papers 'insufficient' and don't need secrecy, says London Assembly

PUBLISHED: 16:50 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 09 October 2019

Jennifer Arcuri's friendship with Boris Johnson is at the centre of a London Assembly investigation. Picture: PA/PA Wire

Jennifer Arcuri's friendship with Boris Johnson is at the centre of a London Assembly investigation. Picture: PA/PA Wire

The London Assembly has said that it cannot see the need for confidentiality in Boris Johnson's submitted papers for the probe into his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri.

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In fact, said Assembly members, the submission was "insufficient" in detail.

Number 10 had requested secrecy around the documents Johnson submitted towards an investigation into whether he had a conflict of interest over his relationship with Arcuri, who received many benefits during his time as London mayor.

Len Duvall AM, chair of the oversight committee, said: "We did finally receive a response from Boris Johnson, through his solicitors, which they have indicated may not be published. At this stage we are respecting that, but we are seeking further clarification," he said.

"Nothing in the response, in our opinion, reflects the need for confidentiality. In fact, the response is insufficient as far as our request for information is concerned."

MORE: You cannot sweep Jennifer Arcuri letter under the carpet, Boris Johnson told

Duvall added that the investigation would continue with further interviews and by liaising with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

"We are focused on our investigation and considering next steps," he said. "A number of options are open to us; they include speaking to various people and using our power of summons.

"There are other investigations under way and we will respect those investigations - in fact we are liaising with the IOPC.

"We're now formulating our response to the statements made in the letter and may make further statements once that response is finalised in the coming days."

Labour has also called for the prime minister's submitted papers to be published "in the public interest".

Jon Trickett MP, Labour's shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "With an issue as serious as potential abuse of public office, it is absolutely in the public interest that this letter be published.

"Boris Johnson might think he is above the law but he cannot hide from scrutiny. As a former prime minister said, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

"If he fails to answer these questions, he is showing contempt for the inquiry and the people of this country. This is about the integrity and honesty of the man who is the prime minister."

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