In a live broadcast press conference, Boris Johnson has announced an independent inquiry into allegations of sexual misconduct against Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis. The press conference is unfolding with Ray Lewis himself present, and many of the questions directed to him concern his dismissal from the church. He is saying he is unaware of any dismissal. Mr Johnson has mentioned that he will not suspend Mr Lewis from his role as Deputy Mayor for the duration of the inquiry but this is to be confirmed. More updates to come.
UPDATE: It has emerged that there are several allegations made against Mr Lewis and certain facts about his professional career prior to his role as Deputy Mayor have come to light.
- He was a vicar in the Church of England up to 1998 when he was barred from public preaching or ministry after allegations of sexual misconduct and financial irregularities. Mr Lewis insists he was unaware he had been barred and it was his decision to stop practicing
- He worked abroad for a short period then took up work in the prison service on his return to the UK. He also set up Eastside Young Leaders Academy that works with black teenagers excluded from mainstream schooling
- Boris Johnson is keenly defending his aide and is claiming that the allegations against him are rubbish and intended to smear him "because he has had the guts to serve in this administration". Mr Lewis will not be suspended from his role as Deputy Mayor while the independent inquiry is carried out.