January 20, 2020
There could still be weeks to wait before the independent police watchdog reveals whether Boris Johnson should face a criminal investigation over his links with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri. 
Boris Johnson Could Still Face A Criminal Probe Over Links To Jennifer Arcuri
In September, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) was tasked with deciding whether there were grounds to investigate the prime minister for misconduct in public office – a criminal offence.
It followed allegations that Arcuri had received favourable treatment while Johnson was the mayor of London – including £126,000 of public money and privileged access to three foreign trade missions.
Johnson has consistently denied any wrongdoing, with No.10 having previously insisted that “everything was done with propriety and in the normal way” during his time as mayor. 
Meanwhile, in a statement in September, Arcuri said any money her company had received and any trade missions she had joined “were purely in respect of my role as a legitimate businesswoman”. 
The matter was referred to the IOPC by the Greater London Authority, which is headed by current London mayor Sadiq Khan, in autumn 2019.
But it’s likely to be weeks before any announcement is made by the police watchdog into whether a probe should be launched. In a statement, an IOPC spokesperson said its assessment was “progressing”. 
“We continue to acquire material from various sources and this process has not slowed or paused – it is very much ongoing,” they said. “We are also seeking appropriate legal advice.
“Once our assessment is complete, we will decide whether the matter requires investigation.” 
In December, the IOPC denied claims published by the Observer that it had decided to delay announcing its decision about Johnson until after the general election.
The most recent statement from the body comes as SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has written to the PM demanding immediate action to allow a report into alleged Russian interference in British politics to be published.
According to the Guardian, the Russian report – which was produced by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) – cannot be published until MPs are appointed to the ISC following the general election. 
During the election campaign, critics accused Downing Street of suppressing the report until after polling day. But government ministers insisted it was the “machinery of government” that had delayed its release.
It and the IOPC decision were among several hot potatoes alleged or proven to have been put on ice by the calling of the election, on topics ranging from Huawei’s involvement in British 5G networks to maternal deaths.
Downing Street has been contacted for further comment over the IOPC’s update on its assessment.Related... Boris Johnson Referred To Police Watchdog Over Relationship With Jennifer Arcuri Boris Johnson Had A 'Sexual Intention' Towards Businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, She Claims
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