Boris Johnson accused of trying to secure job for lover while Mayor of London

Boris Johnson accused of trying to secure job for lover while Mayor of London
Boris Johnson accused of trying to secure job for lover while Mayor of London

BORIS Johnson has been accused of trying to secure a job for a young woman he was having an affair with.

The appointment was only blocked because Kit Malthouse, then a senior figure in London's City Hall and now one of Mr Johnson’s cabinet ministers, suggested she was "too friendly" with the mayor, according to the Sunday Times.

The new revelations follow reports last month that Johnson had pushed for his now wife, Carrie Johnson, to become his chief of staff while he was foreign secretary. The pair were having an affair at the time.

He is also accused of helping the US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri gain access to taxpayer-funded business trips when he was mayor of London. They were also alleged to be having an affair at the time.

The Sunday Times allegations date back to 2008 when he was 43 and the woman - who has not been named - was in her 20s.

At the time, Mr Johnson was married with four children.

He met the woman again in parliament on November 7, 2017, at the height of the Me Too movement, when she texted him saying that they needed to talk.

The woman taped that conversation which has now been shared with the paper.

During their meeting, she told Mr Johnson she was “really shaken and upset” about what had happened between them, telling him it was an example of how any young woman who “steps into this building is fair game” and there to be “leered at” by powerful men.

She then described how they had first met and had a liaison in his parliamentary office.

Mr Johnson confirmed they had seen each other at party events and later had a chance encounter in central London before he invited her for what she thought was a social drink in the Palace of Westminster. Asked if he remembered those details, he said: “Yes.”

The woman then recalled: “I wanted to get into politics, you said you’d get me a job in City Hall — do you remember I went for an interview with Kit Malthouse?”

Mr Johnson told her: “Can I just say something? I did suggest you for a role and I was very disappointed when you didn’t get that role. I remember it.”

He continued: “I suggested you for the job and I was very keen for Kit to interview you and I remember Kit interviewed you.

"I asked him about it afterwards, repeatedly, why he hadn’t given you the job and I was very disappointed he hadn’t. I remember. And I’m afraid one of the reasons he gave was that he thought you were too friendly with me.”

Mr Johnson then claimed he did not do anything improper: “I think genuinely you would have felt it was an abuse of power and an abuse of friendship. You can’t just machine friends into jobs. You can’t. Not in City Hall.”

Last week, Mr Johnson responded to criticism of his appointment of Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip of the Conservative Party by telling the House of Commons that “I abhor ... abuse of power anywhere in parliament, in this party or in any other party”.

At the meeting, the woman told him she was considering reporting her experience to the then Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Mr Johnson initially suggested that he would not stand in her way, telling her: “Well, I obviously can’t advise you about that. That’s a matter, that’s a matter for you.”

But he then asked: “What do you see as the way forward? Okay, apart from, okay, so there’s lots of solutions. You can go to Theresa May and say Boris Johnson is a bastard and all the rest of it and fine, and I would say nothing, um, I will.”

He reacted furiously to her angrily when she suggested he had been reluctant to meet.

“I’ve been incredibly f***ing busy," he said. "I tried to meet you the other day! Jesus f***ing assholes. I wanted to meet you.”

Mr Johnson also repeatedly apologised, saying: “I’m very, very sorry, your unhappiness about this. And I feel obviously that I’ve been very insensitive. There’s absolutely no question about that.”

He denied any wrongdoing, saying: “I don’t believe that I was malicious and I don’t believe that I would have been aggressive or anything like that. I think that would be not fair.” He even told her: “Whatever happened, I don’t remember myself that I behaved in any way improperly ... I really don’t. I think in all conscience you’d accept that.”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “This is not about his time as PM. There is no public interest as I see it. And we don’t talk about his private life.”