I’ve misplaced rely of the variety of instances Boris Johnson has clumsily dodged questions on his relationship with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.
He was requested six instances on a aircraft heading for New York.
Sky News later put the query to him repeatedly. As did others.
And each time he merely replies with some sort of piffle – to use a phrase he’s utilized in the previous to dismiss probes about his personal life.
The actuality is, he can’t preserve avoiding the questions.
The London Assembly Oversights Committee has written to the prime minister, demanding data inside two weeks.
Members need particulars of all contact Mr Johnson had with Ms Arcuri, be it private, social, or skilled.
Because if there was some sort of a relationship, it issues. Mayors should declare all such pursuits.
We know Ms Arcuri, an unknown American entrepreneur at the begin of her profession, manages to safe private appearances by Mr Johnson at networking occasions she is organising.
We additionally know her firm received taxpayer-funded sponsorship on two events.
Ms Arcuri additionally goes on three worldwide commerce journeys, one to Malaysia, one to New York and one to Tel Aviv.
She was advised she could not be a part of the important delegation going to New York, however a senior adviser to the mayor will get in contact with organisers saying she needs to be invited to some occasions, particularly a lunch and a dinner.
When it got here to the Tel Aviv journey, which had a spotlight round instructional expertise, she was advised she wouldn’t qualify for a spot on the journey.
But the similar senior mayoral adviser who had secured her invitations to New York occasions steps in once more, and overrules the choice.
Ms Arcuri attends the journey and has entry to a lot smaller, commercially significant occasions.
It’s uncommon for a call made about invitations to a world journey to be overridden on this manner.
I perceive it is by no means occurred earlier than, and hasn’t occurred underneath the present Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
So why will not Mr Johnson, who says he’s pleased with his time in workplace as mayor, not touch upon this one?
He’s lastly mentioned he “will cooperate” with the London Assembly’s request.
And if members aren’t happy together with his response, they’ve the authorized powers to make him attend in person.
Mr Johnson says meeting members are “barking up the wrong tree” with this challenge.
We will know who is correct quickly sufficient.