The London Assembly has said it will investigate Boris Johnson’s links to an American businesswoman with “absolute commitment”, while it awaits a response from the prime minister to its probe.
The body – responsible for holding the Mayor of London to account – had requested that Mr Johnson provide it with evidence detailing his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri while he was in City Hall.
With the prime minister’s response still pending, the chair of the London Assembly Oversight Committee said the “already serious situation has now become grave”.
Len Duvall AM added: “Allegations of potential misuse of taxpayers’ money are no laughing matter. We will be taking this further.”
He added that the London Assembly will now “consider” whether to summons Mr Johnson in order to ask him about the allegations.
The PM has been facing pressure over his links to Ms Arcuri, who allegedly received favourable treatment, including grants and access to business trips, thanks to her friendship with Mr Johnson at the time.
The Assembly wrote to Mr Johnson, asking him to provide “details and a timeline of all contact with Jennifer Arcuri including social, personal and professional during his period of office as Mayor of London”.
The letter also requested “an explanation of how that alleged personal relationship was disclosed and taken into account in any and all dealings with the GLA” (Greater London Authority).
But the Assembly says it is “very disappointing” that the prime minister has not yet responded to the probe. He was given 14 days to respond.
Mr Duvall said the PM’s failure to respond to a “polite request” was “unhelpful” and said “a range of options” are now available.
He added: “Next week, the Oversight Committee will meet to discuss those options and decide on its next course of action.”
Ms Arcuri has denied allegations of impropriety, saying she “never, ever” received favouritism from Mr Johnson while he was London Mayor.
But while appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the technology entrepreneur and former model refused to answer when asked whether she had had a sexual relationship with Mr Johnson.
She said that it is “really categorically no-one’s business what private life we had, or didn’t have”.