Records were deleted or never existed, information was delayed and officers revealed they were influenced to act a particular way in the matter of Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, a police report has revealed.
Is this how the investigation into that relationship has been made to say there was no impropriety?
Why were records relating to this case deleted – what did they cover and when were the deletions made? We may never know, but the questions should be enough to raise suspicion.
Why were some records never made? The report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct remarks on them so it is reasonable to believe that they were necessary. Who was responsible for making these records? What information would they have provided?
Why did the third parties mentioned in the report delay providing their information? What influenced them to inconvenience the investigation and would their information have been different, had they not done so? What was the subject of the information they had been asked to provide?
Possibly most damning is the statement that officers working for Johnson and 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”.
Why would they have thought that? Did Johnson, or one of his aides, tell them this was the case and/or that they should give her the money/include her in the junkets?
Because that is how this looks!
The IOPC review took longer than expected due to the poor quality of information provided in the initial referral, a lack of records and delays in third parties providing information. Some of the records which would have assisted the review either never existed or have been deleted.
Director General Michael Lockwood said:“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. “
Our review established there was a close association between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri and there may have been an intimate relationship.
The GLA code of conduct which applied at the time meant that, even if the relationship was intimate, Mr Johnson had no obligation to include Ms Arcuri’s business interests in his own register of interests.
However, under the broader Nolan Principles of Public Life, our review suggests it would have been wise for Mr Johnson to have declared this as a conflict of interest, and a failure to do so could have constituted a breach of these broader principles contained within the GLA 2012 Code of Conduct. As this does not amount to a potential criminal offence, this is now a matter for the GLA to consider.
You see, the report states that
The IOPC’s Operation Lansdowne review found no evidence indicating Mr Johnson influenced 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.
That may be so – but if this is because evidence was destroyed and witnesses were vague, that is not enough to prove any kind of innocence.
The report ends with a list of recommendations for the Greater London Authority and London & Partners to improve their policies, procedures and record-keeping.
This would not have been necessary, had these organisations been able to provide full and frank answers to the inquiry’s questions.
It seems clear that – as This Writer stated in a previous article – the investigation has been an undeserved whitewash.
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