A £100,000 grant given to Boris Johnson’s American friend Jennifer Arcuri has been deemed to be “not unreasonable” and “appropriate”, despite the funding being intended to grow the UK tech sector.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) allotted the cash to Ms Arcuri, chief executive of Hacker House, after she applied for £273,000 in October 2018 under the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF).
The report from the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) comes after Ms Arcuri denied reports that she received favouritism during Boris Johnson’s eight-year stint as London mayor.
Mr Johnson has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with Ms Arcuri, who received the grant while he was London mayor.
The report said the Approvals Board had approved Hacker House Ltd’s application, but for a reduced amount of £100,000, adding: “This review concludes that although the initial gateway questions were not considered for the 19 applications received, the rationale for considering all applications was not unreasonable.
“In respect of the grant award to Hacker House Ltd, the assessment of eligibility and subsequent award of a reduced value of £100,000, is considered appropriate.”