Carrie Johnson and the curious case of the vanishing Times tale | Carrie Johnson

At first look, the tale looked to be the political scoop of the weekend.

On Saturday, the Times reported claims that Boris Johnson had attempted to rent his now spouse as his leader of body of workers when he was once overseas secretary.

But nearly once the object hit the printers, it was once withdrawn, with out clarification or rationalization.

The piece, written by way of the veteran foyer journalist Simon Walters, previously of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, seemed on web page 5 of a few early print copies of Saturday’s Times newspaper however was once dropped for later editions.

It does now not seem that the object was once ever revealed at the Times’ web site.

The tale expanded on claims in a biography of Carrie Johnson by way of the Tory donor and peer Lord Ashcroft that Johnson had attempted to nominate her to a £100,000-a-year executive process when he was once overseas secretary in 2018.

It stated the speculation had fallen aside when his closest advisers discovered of the speculation to rent the Tory press leader, then referred to as Carrie Symonds, whom he later married. Johnson was once then nonetheless married to Marina Wheeler, a barrister.

A supply with wisdom of the placement advised the Guardian this account was once right kind.

However, a spokesperson for Carrie Johnson was once categoric. “These claims are totally untrue,” she stated.

Downing Street declined to provide an on-the-record reaction to the tale however a No 10 supply additionally stated the tale was once unfaithful – and recommended it was once sexist.

“This is a grubby, discredited story turned down by most reputable media outlets because it isn’t true. The facts speak for themselves.”

Walters advised the Guardian: “I stand by the story. I went to all the relevant people over two days. Nobody offered me an on-the-record denial and Downing St didn’t deny it off the record either.”

Journalists on the Times have been baffled by way of the verdict to withdraw Saturday’s tale, with more than one assets suggesting there were a high-level intervention to take away it.

The paper’s editor, John Witherow, is reported to be off paintings. His deputy Tony Gallagher edited the newspaper on Friday, with more than one assets announcing he made the decision to drop the tale from later editions.

A spokesperson for News UK declined to touch upon why a piece of writing that seemed prominently in probably loads of 1000’s of print newspapers were got rid of from later editions, with none clarification.

Walters not too long ago left his senior place on the Daily Mail, the place he first published the scandal over Carrie Johnson’s renovations of the Downing Street flat.

MailOnline rewrote the Times’ tale in regards to the proposed executive process for Carrie Johnson within the early hours of Saturday morning however has since additionally deleted its article with out clarification or an editor’s be aware. News aggregation websites have additionally deleted their copies of the MailOnline article.

Removing the object could also be an instance of the Streisand impact – the place makes an attempt to delete data from the web make the general public a lot more serious about it.

Alastair Campbell, the previous No 10 director of communications below Tony Blair, tweeted on Sunday that the disappearance of the tale looked to be “further evidence that much of our media is essentially an extension of the press office of a liar and a crook”. He additionally stated that the Times proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, had “done so much damage to journalism”.

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