While “tech entrepreneur” Jennifer Arcuri was giving her supposedly exclusive thoughts to the ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain - for which she was paid around £20,000, a sum that no other broadcaster was prepared to pony up - alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson should have been sorting out his reply to the London Assembly’s oversight committee over claims of favouritism.
Sadly, Bozo being Bozo, he had not got his act together by the time the deadline passed at 1800 hours yesterday evening. He had been given a fortnight to provide more details about his relationship with Ms Arcuri, but reply there was none. Committee chair Len Duvall was not impressed, and said so. The situation, he declared, “had become grave”.
He added “It is very disappointing that we have not received a response from the Prime Minister … Missing the deadline of a polite request to fully cooperate is unhelpful and this already serious situation has now become grave … The allegations of potential misuse of taxpayers’ money are no laughing matter. We will be taking this further … There are now a range of options available to us. Next week, the Oversight Committee will meet to discuss those options and decide on its next course of action”. That means it’s serious.
After all, there is a variety of sanctions available to the GLA: Bozo could end up with a criminal record. It seems that he had delegated the matter to someone else at Downing Street, and the someone else did not know about the deadline, or did not believe it to be a deadline. So Downing Street then kicked off in no style at all.
As Sky News has reported, “A Tory source said the response was submitted ‘just before 7pm’ … They said the deadline was missed because ‘it was an invented City Hall deadline that they have never said to us’, and criticised the London Assembly for ‘grandstanding’ and oversight committee chair Len Duvall for ‘playing politics’”.
So the usual loud blustering in place of coherent explanation that has become the trademark of Bozo’s chief polecat Dominic Cummings, then. No regard for the seriousness of the matter and the significant sums of public money involved. No attempt to damp down claims of corruption, cronyism, and Bozo’s weakness for young women.
This is a serious matter, hence the GLA talking about the “social, personal and professional [relationship with Ms Arcuri] during his period of office as mayor of London [and] an explanation of how that alleged personal relationship was disclosed and taken into account in any and all dealings with the Greater London Authority [GLA] and other parts of the GLA family”. The rules still don’t really apply to Bozo.
Trade trips she didn’t warrant being given, grants, access to the Mayor, him giving his time for free to drum up business for her, all those visits to her Shoreditch apartment for “technology lessons” - those who claim to be hot on wasting taxpayer funds might have been thought to be on this case, but they aren’t. Because they’re Bozo’s pals.
Nor are his press pals busting a gut to grill him about the claims of waste an favouritism, pr indeed missing that deadline. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t broken the law.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at