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UK PM Boris Johnson Referred To Police Over Misconduct Claims

London's government has referred British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the police watchdog over allegations he failed to declare ties to a US businesswoman.

Johnson has been referred to Britain's police watchdog for potential investigation over allegations of misconduct while he was mayor of London.

The government of London says it has referred a "conduct matter" concerning Johnson to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates complaints connected to the police.

The referral by the Greater London Authority follows allegations, first reported by The Sunday Times, that when Johnson was mayor he failed to declare close personal links to tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri.

Arcuri received thousands of pounds in public business funding and places on official trade trips.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: AAP

Asked about the referral, Johnson's spokesman said the prime minister had always followed proper procedures.

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"The prime minister as mayor of London did a huge amount of work when selling our capital city around the world, beating the drum for London and the UK," the spokesman said.

"Everything was done with propriety and in the normal way."

Arcuri did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Jennifer Arcuri. Photo: Steve Ward/PA Wire

The matter has been referred to the police watchdog because Johnson was head of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, a role equivalent to a police commissioner, during his 2008-2016 term as mayor.

Under the referral, the authority will try to determine whether there are grounds for a full investigation that could lead to criminal charges of misconduct in public office.

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The GLA said the referral had been taken in accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

"The Monitoring Officer of the GLA has today recorded a 'conduct matter' against Boris Johnson and referred him to the Independent Office for Police Conduct so it can assess whether or not it is necessary to investigate the former Mayor of London for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office," it said in a statement.

Photo: Getty

In a letter to Johnson, the GLA said subject to his explanation, the matters give rise to a suggestion of a failure to safeguard the public purse.

" ... If so that amounts to a significant breach of public trust," said the letter, which was made public.

"These are the ingredients of the offence of misconduct in a public office."

The letter said Innotech, Arcuri's then company, received STG11500 ($A20,893) from London & Partners, the mayor's promotional agency, for two events in 2013 and 2014.

Photo: Getty

She was able to attend a trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia in 2014 through Playbox, one of her companies, even though an initial application through Innotech had been declined.

The letter said the monitoring officer was also aware "from media reports and elsewhere" that Arcuri also had been allowed to participate in events around two other trade missions - to New York and Israel in 2015 - although she had not qualified for the New York mission and had been rejected for the mission to Israel.