Today’s papers are filled with two subjects: the obsession with what the Labour Party is up to at its annual Conference in Brighton, and the overnight confirmation that tour operator Thomas Cook has finally had to call time on 178 years of business. But despite the press’ deflection, a story many of those out on the right would rather not see the light of day is doing just that. And it affects our alleged Prime Minister.
While he was still London’s very occasional Mayor, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson made friends - perhaps very good friends indeed - with a US citizen called Jennifer Arcuri. Subsequent to their becoming friends, Ms Arcuri scored three trade trips, although she was ostensibly ineligible for two of them, and more than £126k in grants and fees from the taxpayer. Questions are being asked and investigations started.
The i Paper has a front page teaser noting “PM urged to explain public funds for his friend”, while the Daily Mail - Geordie Greig deciding once more to distance himself from the Sunday title - has set Guy Adams, the doyen of hit pieces, on to Bozo, with today’s front page having no mention of the Labour Conference, but a photo of Ms Arcuri captioned “Truth about Boris and the pole dancing blonde”.
iNews spelt it out: “Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to deny claims he had improperly channelled public money to a businesswoman and close personal friend during his time as London Mayor. The Prime Minister also declined the chance to quash suggestions that he might have had sexual relations with Jennifer Arcuri, an American model turned entrepreneur, to whom he paid several visits at her fashionable east London flat”.
Sky News, meanwhile, has been counting the denials, something that may come back to haunt Bozo. “Boris Johnson refused six times to be drawn on accusations he failed to declare a conflict of interest over a close friendship with an American former model during his time as London mayor”. Bozo was reduced to blustering “You'll forgive me, I'm talking exclusively about what we're doing here in the UN”. He wasn’t here in the UN.
Free sheet Metro confirmed “Boris declined to clarify the nature of his relationship with Ms Arcuri and or deny any allegations in the report while travelling to New York for the United Nations General Assembly”. Even the Murdoch Sun - a Bozo cheerleader - felt the need to let its readers know “BORIS Johnson last night refused to deny an extramarital affair with a former model he may have helped win public cash”.
Look who's on his case
And the Guardian pointed out that “There is precedent for members of the government being forced to resign over conflicts of interest”, citing its own success in bringing down disgraced former Defence Secretary Liam Fox - and also the more recent dismissal of Priti Patel by Theresa May. Bozo is batting on an increasingly sticky track.
So expect more of Guy Adams telling Mail readers “The spacious flat, which she rented for £2,600 a month, boasted tall windows, fashionable wooden floors and a chrome dancing pole in the middle of its living room … Johnson quietly came over to the property ‘many times’ during his second term according to several sources”. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
The press is getting up to speed on Bozo’a bad behaviour. So there may be more later.
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