Monday, September 30, 2019

Boris Johnson Battles Sex Allegations As Brexit Opponents Plot

Boris Johnson Battles Sex Allegations As Brexit Opponents Plot
Boris Johnson Battles Sex Allegations As Brexit Opponents Plot. Img: Bloomberg

Boris Johnson Faces Sexual Assault Allegation Amidst Brexit Deadline Crises

Boris Johnson hoped to use his Conservative Party’s annual convention to launch his campaign to win the next British general election. Instead, he is fighting for his credibility as prime minister as he faces allegations of sexual impropriety and plots to oust him.

After two months in charge of the U.K. government, Johnson was forced to deny he groped a journalist at a lunch around 20 years ago, and batted away allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a businesswoman and authorized taxpayer-funded sponsorship for her company during his time as London Mayor.

However, some of Johnson’s senior ministers were less clear in their backing for their leader.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he knows and “entirely trusts” Charlotte Edwardes, the journalist who made the allegation that the premier put his hand on her thigh. In a round of broadcast interviews on Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid refused to defend Johnson directly, saying he would not be drawn into direct questions about the claims.

On another allegation about his private life, the prime minister was more circumspect in his own denial.

The Sunday Times reported last week that when he was London Mayor, Johnson had overruled officials to get tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri onto trade missions, and that her company had received government sponsorship grants.
The paper this week reported that Arcuri had told four friends that she’d had a sexual relationship with Johnson.

Sunday Times columnist Charlotte Edwardes says the incident took place when she worked at conservative news magazine The Spectator while Johnson was its editor.

The allegations overshadowed the Conservative Party’s four-day annual conference in Manchester, where Johnson is trying to rally the party under the slogan “Get Brexit Done.”


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