The three scandals hanging over Boris Johnson as his first Tory conference as PM kicks off

Sunday Times columnist Charlotte Edwardes says Johnson groped her thigh when she worked at The Spectator, which he edited. (AP)

As Boris Johnson's first Conservative Party conference as Prime Minister kicked off, his arrival in Manchester was overshadowed by three devastating scandals, and moves to oust him from Westminster.

The scandals – a female journalist’s allegation that Mr Johnson “groped her inner thigh” as editor of The Spectator magazine, questions over his links with model turned businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, and a former Tory chancellor’s claim that his financial backers could profit from a no-deal Brexit – would all be damaging individually, but together make for a toxic atmosphere that is tainting his first months as Britain’s Prime Minister.

As he arrived at the Midland Hotel with partner Carrie Symonds, a group of protesters gathered around the venue shouting “Boris is a liar” and “get your Johnson out of democracy” as he got out of his ministerial car.

Mr Johnson is accustomed to scenes like these, especially after the Supreme Court ruled he had acted unlawfully in advising the Queen to suspend Parliament.

Here are the scandals that threaten to ruin Mr Johnson’s conference.

Boris Johnson waves as he returns to his hotel on the second day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester after he denied allegations he made unwanted sexual advances towards two women 20 years ago. (AP)

Johnson's ‘wandering hands’ as Spectator editor

Sunday Times journalist Charlotte Edwardes has accused Boris Johnson of grabbing the thighs of two women including that of her own at a lunch while he was the editor of The Spectator magazine.

She claimed that in 1999 Johnson groped her leg under a table, grabbing “enough inner flesh beneath his fingers” to make her “sit upright”.

She also accused Johnson of 'hedging his bets" and doing the same to another unnamed woman at the same event.

Miss Edwardes claimed that the former Spectator magazine editor groped her during a private lunch in 1999. (Twitter)

Downing Street initially declined to comment on Sunday but have now said that the allegation is "untrue".

The Prime Minister is said to be "furious" about the claim, with Downing Street insiders referring to it as "nonsense".

However Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd have rallied in Ms Edwardes’ support, saying she is highly regarded and "trustworthy".

Just as Downing Street issued an official denial, Mr Hancock told Channel 4: “I know Charlotte well and I entirely trust what she has to say”. Ms Rudd then tweeted: “I agree with Matt.”

Ms Edwardes tweeted on Sunday night: “If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does.”

Allegations of a ‘conflict of interest’ with US businesswoman

Mr Johnson is alleged to have had an affair with American model turned tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, who received £126,000 in public funding while he was mayor of London.

Ms Arcuri, 34, is originally from the US but moved to the UK seven years ago.

Mr Johnson has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which will assess whether he should be investigated for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office while he was mayor of London.

Arriving with girlfriend Carrie Symonds ahead of the conference in Manchester. (AP)

Claims that his financial backers stand to profit from no-deal Brexit chaos

Former Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond and Mr Johnson’s sister Rachel Johnson have both claimed that financial backers of Boris Johnson could profit from a no-deal Brexit.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has called for a Whitehall probe into the claims, writing to the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill calling for an investigation into the “potential conflict of interest”.

Hammond suggested in The Times on Saturday that because of Johnson's apparent willingness to leave the EU “with or without a deal”, his "radical" supporters could stand to gain from a no-deal Brexit.

He said the Conservative Party has received "a significant sum" in donations from no-deal backers, a number of whom are involved in hedge funds.

Boris Johnson arrives at the Manchester Central convention complex to attend the second day of the annual Conservative Party conference at the in Manchester (Getty)

Mr Hammond wrote: “As his sister has reminded us, he is backed by speculators who have bet billions on a hard Brexit – and there is only one outcome that works for them: a crash-out no-deal Brexit that sends the currency tumbling and inflation soaring.

“So they, at least, will be reassured to see no evidence at all that his government has seriously pursued a deliverable deal; still less that it has been pursuing a deal that could get us out by October 31.”


Who is American entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri?

Boris Johnson referred to police watchdog over links to American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri

Boris Johnson denies female journalist's claim he ‘squeezed her thigh under the table’ during lunch

Mr Johnson has insisted that he had done nothing wrong, but the Sunday Times has now reported that Ms Acuri confided to four friends that they had been having an affair during his time in City Hall.

He told The Andrew Marr Show on the first day of the party's conference in Manchester that there was "no interest to declare" and that everything was done with "full propriety".