Boris Johnson will not face a criminal investigation over allegations he used his position while London mayor to benefit and reward US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – the police watchdog for England and Wales – announced the outcome of its ten-month scoping exercise into the claims on Thursday.
The Prime Minister was formally referred to the watchdog last September over revelations Ms Arcuri had accessed thousands of pounds of public money and accompanied the then-mayor on trade trips.
The IOPC has a duty to investigate any alleged criminal offence committed by a figure in charge of policing, as Johnson was for London when he was mayor.
The PM now faces a different probe by the London Assembly oversight committee, which had suspended its own inquiries pending the outcome of the police’s investigation but will now resume them.
Ms Arcuri discussed her friendship with Johnson in a number of interviews late last year, but refused to say whether they had an affair.
She has said she had “every right” to go on the trade missions, describing herself as a “legitimate businesswoman”.
A UK Government review in October said a separate £100,000 grant awarded to Hacker House, a company run by Ms Arcuri, in 2018 was “appropriate”.
A Sunday Times investigation reported that Ms Arcuri’s business received £10,000 in sponsorship from an organisation overseen by Johnson as mayor in 2013 and a further £15,000 was said to have come in 2014.
The Prime Minister has always denied any wrongdoing.