Boris Johnson reportedly tried to hire a young woman who claims he abused his position to have a sexual relationship with her during his time as mayor of London.
Johnson, who announced his resignation as prime minister of the United Kingdom on Thursday, tried to get her a job at City Hall just weeks after meeting her, according to The Times.
The woman, who spoke to the newspaper on the condition of anonymity for legal reasons, has finally decided to come forward after deciding that the public should know. The Times reports that she recorded a confrontation with Johnson in 2017 in which she told him she was “really shaken and upset” by what had happened between them in 2008, when Johnson was serving as the mayor of the British capital. She is said to have told him that she finally decided to “stand up for” herself, expressing frustration with the fact that, as she described it, her genuine passion for politics as a young woman had been manipulated into a sexual relationship.
“I wanted to get into politics, you said you’d get me a job in City Hall—do you remember I went for an interview with Kit Malthouse?” the woman was quoted saying in that conversation. According to The Times, Johnson admitted that he had pushed for her to get a job in City Hall and was “very keen” for her to get an interview.
Johnson, who was married with four children at the time the alleged relationship took place, served as mayor of the British capital from 2008 to 2016. He succeeded Theresa May as prime minister in 2019 on a mandate to get Brexit done.
The English newspaper says the unidentified woman’s appointment was ultimately blocked by Johnson’s then-colleague Kit Malthouse, who was recently named the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a mostly advisory role to the prime minister. Malthouse apparently believed the two had an inappropriately close relationship.
This is the latest in a series of scandals for the soon-to-be-gone prime minister.
He and his staffers were found in breach of his administration’s own COVID isolation rules during the height of the pandemic. In 2020, and well into the intermittent lockdowns and variant scares of 2021, reports of boozy gatherings at 10 Downing Street became regular tabloid fodder.
Johnson was forced to call it quits on Thursday after a record-breaking 55 people resigned from his government in 48 hours.
Last week, while he was being questioned about the conduct of former Conservative Party whip Chris Pincher, Johnson appeared to dismiss claims of sexual harassment by saying, “Some people simply can’t take their drink.”
Pincher resigned as whip on June 30 after he admitted he had “drunk far too much” and "embarrassed myself and other people” the night before at a private club in London. He allegedly groped two men, according to Sky News.
More claims followed, including allegations of unwanted advances against other male lawmakers. The conservative had previously resigned as assistant whip in 2017 after former Olympic rower and House of Commons candidate Alex Story accused him of groping him in 2001. Story said Pincher invited him to his home and massaged his neck while wearing a bathrobe, calling him a “pound shop Harvey Weinstein.”
Johnson clarified himself last week when asked if he was using alcohol as an excuse for bad behavior.
“I observed that some people seem to get very drunk but that in no way minimizes the underlying pattern of behavior,” he said, according to The Independent.