DISGRACED former prime minister Boris Johnson has breached UK Government rules, the business appointments watchdog has said.

Eric Pickles, the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), has written to both Johnson and Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden warning of the breach.

It involves the former prime minister being “evasive” about his relationship with a company that set up a meeting between him and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

Johnson failed to clarify his relationship with a company called Merlyn Advisors, a hedge fund.

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He is reported to have met President Maduro alongside Merlyn Advisors co-founder, Maarten Petermann, in February.

“Mr Johnson has repeatedly been asked by Acoba to clarify his relationship with Merlyn Advisors,” Lord Pickles wrote in his letter to Dowden.

“He has not done so, nor has he denied the reports in the media that he has been working with Merlyn Advisors on a non-contractual basis.”

Government rules state that former ministers must not take up new jobs or appointments without advice from Acoba first.