Boris Johnson broke City Hall rules by failing to transfer his emails as mayor to Greater London Authority officers when he left office. This tech failure has hampered the investigation into his alleged affair with US entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, reports My London News.
Arcuti was reportedly given £126,000 in public money and privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Mr Johnson while he was in City Hall.
Her links with Mr Johnson came under public scrutiny earlier this year over allegations she received favourable treatment for her business ventures during his eight-year stint as Mayor of London.
At the time the scandal broke addressing Mr Johnson directly, Ms Arcuri told ITV: “I’ve been nothing but loyal, faithful, supportive, and a true confidante of yours. I’ve kept your secrets, and I’ve been your friend.
“And I don’t understand why you’ve blocked me and ignored me as if I was some fleeting one-night stand or some girl that you picked up at a bar because I wasn’t – and you know that.
“And I’m terribly heartbroken by the way that you have cast me aside like I am some gremlin.”
Reporter Josiah Mortimer first broke the story on Twitter today:
The revelations come as Boris Johnson has been accused of watering down the rules for ministers after it was made clear they will not automatically lose their jobs if they breach the Ministerial Code.
A Government policy statement said it was “disproportionate” to expect ministers to resign or face the sack for “minor” violations of the code’s provisions.
Instead it has been updated, giving the Prime Minister the option of ordering a lesser sanction such as “some form of public apology, remedial action or removal of ministerial salary for a period”.
It had previously expected that ministers should go if they were found to have breached the code.
At the same time Mr Johnson has drawn backing from allowing his independent adviser on the code, Lord Geidt, to mount investigations into possible violations on his own initiative.
Under his revised terms of reference, there will be an “enhanced process” to enable him to initiate inquiries, but he will still require the Prime Minister’s consent before going ahead.
“Reflecting the Prime Minister’s accountability for the conduct of the executive, it is important that a role is retained for the Prime Minister in decisions about investigations,” the statement said.
The changes come just days after the final report by the senior civil servant Sue Gray into lockdown parties in Downing Street led to renewed calls for Mr Johnson to resign.
The Prime Minister is now facing an inquiry by the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he misled Parliament into what happened.
Labour said Mr Johnson had removed all references to “integrity, objectivity, accountability, transparency, honesty and leadership in the public interest” from his own foreword to the code to “save his own skin”.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “This Prime Minister is downgrading and debasing the principles of public life before our very eyes.
“In a week when Boris Johnson’s lies to Parliament about industrial rule-breaking at the heart of Government were finally exposed, he should be tendering his resignation but is instead watering down the rules to save his own skin.
“Once again, Boris Johnson has demonstrated he is not serious about his pledge to address the scandal and sleaze engulfing his Government or the frequent and flagrant breaches of standards and rule-breaking that have taken place on his watch.”