Sept. 28 (UPI) -- London's governing body referred British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to a police watchdog over his alleged relationship with U.S. technology entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri.
The Greater London Authority on Friday asked the Independent Office for Police Conduct to determine whether it is necessary to investigate Johnson for a criminal misconduct offense involving alleged favoritism towards Arcuri and "her companies" while he was in public office as the mayor of London.
"Allegations have been brought to the attention of the Monitoring Officer that Boris Johnson maintained a friendship with Jennifer Arcuri and as a result of that friendship allowed Ms. Arcuri to participate in trade missions and receive sponsorship monies in circumstances when she and her companies could not have expected otherwise to receive those benefits," the GLA's monitoring office said in a statement.
Arcuri was given $155,000 in public money for her companies after she joined Johnson's campaign to be re-elected mayor of London, the Sunday Times reported.
Arcuri, who is also an ex-model, denied that she was favored, the Times said.
"Any grants received and any trade mission I joined were purely in respect of my role as a legitimate businesswoman," Arcuri told the newspaper.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers told Sky News the complaint against Johnson was "clearly political."
Other supporters have questioned the timing of the move ahead of the Tory Party conference in Manchester as he seeks to press ahead with Britain's withdrawal from the European Union despite tough opposition.