BORIS Johnson has “serious questions to answer” over his relationship with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri.

Yesterday morning, in her first interview since the row broke, the American repeatedly refused to deny that she and Johnson had had a physical relationship while he was London mayor.

She also denied there was any impropriety in the large sums of public money received by her tech firms.

Arcuri was interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain after the broadcaster reportedly paid her an appearance fee believed to be between £10,000 and £20,000, according to Buzzfeed.

READ MORE: WATCH: Boris Johnson refuses to deny Jennifer Acuri affair claims

She told show hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that she had a “very close bond” with the man she called “Alex the Great”.

Arcuri said Johnson had visited her flat in Shoreditch, east London, a “handful of times” but she denied he had helped her access public money.

Her firm, Innotech, was awarded £26,000 in public money and she was given privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Johnson despite initially being refused.

Her latest company, Hacker House, was also given a £100,000 grant earlier this year by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Asked if she ever discussed the awarding of that money with Johnson, Arcuri said: “Categorically no.” She added: “Do you think I would waste his time talking about this stuff?

She confirmed Johnson spoke at four of her company’s events for no fee, but added: “Boris never ever gave me favouritism.” And she denied a report in the Sunday Times that he wrote her a letter of recommendation to head a tech quango in 2012, saying: “That letter doesn’t exist. Fake news.”

READ MORE: Watchdog considers criminal probe into Boris Johnson over Arcuri links

She also insisted she won sponsorship, grants and places on trade missions on merit. She told ITV: “Someone has written down every single thing I’ve done in London and found a way to drive it back to Boris – it’s absolute crap.”

Asked if she loved Johnson, she said: “I care about him deeply as a friend and we do share a very close bond, but I wish him well. I want him to be happy. I wish Carrie [Symonds] well. And I really do want him to focus on making Britain great again.”

Arcuri was asked nine times whether she had an intimate relationship with Johnson, but refused to answer, saying she feared the press would “weaponise” her response.

Labour’s John McDonnell said Johnson had misled the public. “Regardless of the exact nature of his relationship with Arcuri, it is clear that she and Boris Johnson were close”.

SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss agreed: “Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer about this clear conflict of interest. There must be a full public inquiry to establish the truth over whether the Tory leader breached the rules or broke the law”.