1

A report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct has found no evidence that Boris Johnson's relationship with Jennifer Arcuri caused him to influence the payment of any sponsorship monies to Ms Arcuri or that he influenced or played an active part in securing her participation in trade missions.

According to the BBC "The spokesman added that it was "not a policing matter, and we consider this was a waste of police time"."

Since "some evidence" of an "intimate relationship" was found by the IOPC investigators, and the report adds :

While there was no evidence that Mr Johnson influenced the payment of sponsorship monies or participation in trade missions, there was evidence to suggest that those officers making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making. “

the potential for criminal activity to have occurred seems clear, and a report that found no evidence of criminal activity would appear to be immensely valuable to Johnson. The more convinced anyone (including the spokesman) was of his innocence, the more valuable this investigation would seem have been to Johnson.

Has Johnson's spokesman indicated why he believes time was wasted?

2

The only comment from the PM's spokesman that has been made after the IOPC announced their decision on this is below:

We welcome the fact that this politically motivated complaint has been thrown out. Such vexatious claims of impropriety in office were untrue and unfounded.

An independent review by the government internal audit agency similarly showed the claims made by the Labour party were false.

This was not a policing matter, and we consider this was a waste of police time.

So the spokesman's argument is that firstly, the investigation by the IOPC was launched after being referred by the Greater London Authority, which consists of the Labour Mayor of London and the London Assembly, the largest party in which is Labour, with 12 of 25 seats, and which has a Labour chair. This, the spokesman claims, makes the investigation politically motivated.

The second argument the spokesman makes is that the government internal audit agency already conducted an investigation, which reported in October, almost 7 months before the IOPC's report, and which concluded (paragraph 27) that "the assessment of eligibility and subsequent reduced grant award to Hacker House Ltd was appropriate". These seven months could be what the spokesman is referring to as a 'waste of police time'.

Finally, the spokesman states that "this was not a policing matter". This is a bit more vague, as clearly the offence of misconduct in public office is an offence in the UK. Without further comment from the spokesman, it is impossible to infer his reasoning behind this particular comment. Indeed, the IOPC's report itself explains why it believes the allegation was a policing matter:

This matter was referred to the IOPC by the GLA because, as the Mayor of London, Mr Johnson was also the head of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, which is a position equivalent to that of a Police and Crime Commissioner. Any indication a criminal offence may have been committed by the office holder, whether or not they still hold that position, must be referred to the IOPC to decide whether the matter should be criminally investigated.

I'm not going to assess the validity of the spokesman's statement as that would be outside the scope of this question, but the statement above seems to be the only explanation forthcoming from the PM's office. The answer to your question will probably differ depending on whether you consider his remarks a valid explanation or not.

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