Wednesday 31 March 2021 / 8:36 AM Angela Rayner

Rayner demands PM comes clean over Jennifer Arcuri claims

Rayner demands PM comes clean over Jennifer Arcuri claims

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has today written to the Prime Minister demanding that he correct the record after his Press Secretary stated that the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s report found that claims regarding a potential breach of the rules in handing public money and access to Jennifer Arcuri were “untrue and unfounded”. The report does not include that phrase, and Rayner has demanded that the Prime Minister should now act with “integrity and honesty”, as his Press Secretary claims he has always done in this matter, and correct the record.

Stating that it is vital to ensure “complete probity” in all matters relating to the distribution of taxpayers’ money, Rayner has also urged the Prime Minister to assure the British people that there was no special or preferential treatment on his part in the awarding of public grants or preferential access to Jennifer Arcuri, and demanded that he also publish the details of companies who have been awarded government contracts through referral to a special “high priority” and “VIP” lane thanks to existing relationships with Conservative Ministers and Members of Parliament.

Telling the Prime Minister that the British people “deserve to know that taxpayers’ money is spent with honesty and integrity on the basis of what you know, not who you know”, Rayner’s letter points to the £2 billion of taxpayers’ money that has been handed to Conservative Party donors and cronies in government contracts during the pandemic and recent revelations regarding special access granted to favoured business figures like Lex Greensill, arguing that these revelations of cronyism mean that the question of whether any preferential treatment was given to Jennifer Arcuri now takes on a “renewed importance”.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

Full text of letter below

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you regarding comments made by your Press Secretary and official spokesperson yesterday, stating that the Independent Office for Police Conduct had found that claims regarding a potential breach of the rules in handing public money and access to Jennifer Arcuri were “untrue and unfounded”.

The IOPC’s report does not include the phrase “untrue and unfounded”. Acting with integrity and honesty, as your Press Secretary claims you have always done in this matter, would mean that you should be happy to correct the record.

Following the handing of £2 billion of taxpayers’ money in government contracts to donors and friends of the Conservative Party during the Coronavirus pandemic, there is significant and justified public concern regarding cronyism and special treatment for people with close relationships with and links to the Conservative Party and Ministers when it comes to public money and preferential treatment and access.

With each passing week there are more revelations about Conservative Party cronyism and more allegations of the misuse of taxpayers’ money come to light, with recent events raising very serious questions about the conduct of former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and the special access granted to ministers and Whitehall departments for favoured business figures.

It is in this context that the Greater London Authority investigation into whether any preferential treatment or access was given to Jennifer Arcuri during your time as Mayor of London takes on a renewed importance. As I am sure you would you agree, it is vital to ensure complete probity in all matters relating to the distribution of taxpayers’ money, and I would urge you to take urgent steps to assure the British people that there was no special or preferential treatment on your part in the awarding of public grants or preferential access to Jennifer Arcuri.

The British people deserve to know that taxpayers’ money is spent with honesty and integrity on the basis of what you know, not who you know. So I would also urge you again to publish the details of companies who have been awarded government contracts through referral to a special “high priority” and “VIP” lane thanks to existing relationships with, or tips from, Conservative Ministers and Members of Parliament.

Yours Sincerely

Angela Rayner MP