BORIS Johnson has denied helping to win taxpayers’ hand outs for a young businesswoman he is accused of taking as his mistress.
Breaking a 48 hour silence on the bombshell allegations, the PM insisted “everything was done entirely in the proper way” over his professional dealings with ex-model Jennifer Arcuri.
But he would not deny having an extramarital affair with her while he was London Mayor.
Mr Johnson formed a close friendship with Ms Arcuri after the pair met in 2012, and took her on three trade trips with him.
A Sunday Times investigation accused him office of helping the tech entrepreneur win £126,000 grants and sponsorship while he was London Mayor.
In an interview with the BBC in New York, he said: “All I can say is I’m very proud of what we did when I was mayor of London, very proud of everything that we did, particularly banging the drum for our city and country around the world.
“And I can tell you absolutely that everything was done entirely in the proper way.”
Current London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a probe into the allegations, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are also investigating grants to Ms Arcuri.
Earlier on Sunday, Mr Johnson had refused to deny the allegations four times while on a flight to New York City to attend a UN summit.
The PM would only say: “I’m here to talk about what we’re doing in the UN and this country’s commitment to tackling climate change, and our role in serving as a bridge when it comes to our American and European friends over the crisis in the Gulf".
Pressed again, Boris said: “I’m here as I say to talk about what we’re going to do at the UN”.
He also refused to discuss whether suggestions that he had helped misuse public funds should be settled with a public inquiry.
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Given a final chance to deny any of the allegations, he added: “If you forgive me, I am going to talk about exclusively what we’re going to be doing at the UN”.
But Boris later appeared to break his own rule.
Later in the exchange with journalists, the PM went on to talk about his time as London Mayor to say how he gets “an ever more enthusiastic response” on hospital visits than them.
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