03/10/2019 07:25 BST | Updated 03/10/2019 09:43 BST

Jennifer Arcuri Says She Had ‘Every Right’ To Go On Trade Missions With Boris Johnson

The entrepreneur said she is being used as "collateral", but avoided answering questions over allegations she had an affair with the-then London mayor.

American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri has said allegations that Boris Johnson bent rules to help her and her company when she lived in the UK are part of an orchestrated attack.

Arcuri said she had every right to go on overseas trade missions with Johnson when he was London mayor.

“I’m being used as collateral. All the allegations are false,” she told the Daily Mail in Los Angeles, where she now lives.

“Someone has gone to great lengths to put together a massive attack and I stand by the legitimacy of my business.

“I am in fact a legitimate businesswoman.”

Arcuri added that it was a shame to see successful businesswomen “persecuted” and said she had support from other women who “see through these attacks”.

In an interview with LBC radio this week. Johnson suggested stories regarding he and Arcuri had come to light because of his government’s stance on Brexit.

“There are quite a lot of well-meaning and highly intelligent people who basically think that that would be something they don’t want to see, and I think that there is a concerted effort now to frustrate Brexit,” he said.

Johnson has been referred to the police complaints body to assess whether he should face a criminal investigation over his links with the American businesswoman.

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Arcuri’s decision to break her silence comes days after the Sunday Times reported that Arcuri confided in four friends about an affair she had been engaged in with Johnson during his time in City Hall.

The paper said that David Enrich, now the finance editor of The New York Times, had said he had been told of the alleged relationship by two of her friends when he was working for another newspaper.

On Thursday, it emerged that Arcuri suddenly changed the registered UK address of her company as MPs questioned whether it should have been awarded a £100,000 taxapyer-funded grant from the government.

The address for Hacker House was changed from what appeared to be a nondescript block of flats in Macclesfield to a prime property on London’s Fleet Street as MPs probed allegations of a conflict of interest.