Boris Johnson’s job search scandal for Carrie’s wife won’t go away

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LONDON – Even by British standards, there’s a dramatic mess: a political and journalistic story, centered on the country’s most-watched tabloid star – not Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, but Boris Johnson’s hot-water streak.

The mystery began in the early hours of Saturday, when an article by an award-winning journalist briefly appeared in The Times of London – was this big news, if true? – She reported that Johnson sought his then-girlfriend, his current wife, a $120,000 job at the State Department, while the two were lovers in 2018, and while Johnson was divorcing his 25-year-old ex-wife. who had cancer.

Then the article disappeared.

On Wednesday, the allegations erupted again, for the full public record, in the House of Commons, with Labor MP Chris Elmore asking the first question in the combative weekly ritual known as the Prime Minister’s Questions. If he had ever thought about appointing his current wife to a government position, or a position with the royal family.

“Yes or no?” Elmore insisted.

Simple question, Elmore pressure.

The conservative prime minister has complained that his critics do not want to discuss the economy, and the number of people fully employed under his administration.

He said Labor wants to talk about “non-existent jobs” because they “don’t want to talk about what’s happening in the real world”.

The leader of the opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, attempted to answer Johnson by asking, sarcastically, that if he ever needed advice, “on, say, a £100,000 job at the Foreign Office”, he would ask the Prime Minister.

As cunning, or not, as Johnson’s answer might be, he was still suspected of being a serial pet. Public opinion polls indicate that he is not widely trusted, even by his supporters.

Parliament is now investigating whether Johnson lied to the House of Commons in his answers to previous questions about a series of raucous parties in Downing Street during the strict coronavirus lockdowns, some of which were hosted by his wife, Carrie Johnson.

Both the Prime Minister and his wife were fined for those parties.

Ex-Carrie Symonds and Johnson moved to 10 Downing Street as unmarried partners. The couple have two children. They married secretly in May 2021.

The Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch, published its article on Saturday with the headline: “Johnson tried to give Carey the highest position in the State Department during the affair.”

The story was published in the first issues of the Saturday newspaper, but a surprise arose: Why wasn’t such a scoop on the front page, rather than buried inside?

Subsequently, the article was deleted from subsequent editions and disappeared from the Times website without explanation.

You can read it now on Twitter as saved image.

Tim Walker, a journalist for the New Europe newspaper, was the first to write about the fading story. He was alerted by a reporter working in the newsroom in the Times and was “angry and despairing at what was happening”.

“I think the reason the story was so appealing was that it was actually two stories. It was a story of corruption for Johnson trying to give a job to his mistress at the time, but also about corruption in the press,” Walker said. “Journalists and politicians in our country are very comfortable.”

Johnson himself is a former journalist. He was fired from his first job in journalism, at the Times of London, for fabricating a quote. He continued to make a name for himself during his years as a foreign correspondent based in Brussels, delivering only outrageous and almost real dispatches.

Want to understand Boris Johnson, the next potential British Prime Minister? Read his burning press.

The Times did not respond to questions from the Washington Post or others.

A spokesman for Carrie Johnson told ITV News that reports that Johnson tried to give his then-girlfriend a job at the State Department were “completely untrue”.

According to the BBC, “The Prime Minister’s spokesman said he understood the story as incorrect but declined to directly deny it, saying he could not comment on things that might have happened before Mr Johnson became prime minister, but indicated a denial from Carey. Johnson. .”

A Downing Street spokesman confirmed that their office had contacted The Times about the story.

Britain’s deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, told Sky News there was a “feed frenzy” aimed at hurting Carrie Johnson “as a way to get the prime minister”. He called it “out of order” and “extremely obnoxious”.

The Daily Mirror reported last week that Johnson last year discussed his wife’s roles as a “green ambassador” for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and as communications director for the Prince William Earthshot Award.

The original Times article reporter, for his part, did not hold back.

“I’m sticking with the story 100 percent,” Simon Walters told New Europe.

He told The New European newspaper he was in discussions with Downing Street “at a high level” and spokeswoman Carrie Johnson before the paper went to print. “None of them ever made an official denial of any element of the story,” he said.

Walters is a freelance journalist who has worked for years at the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. Last year, he broke the “Gate of Walls” story, revealing that Johnson had not properly advertised money from Conservative donors who helped pay for decorations in his apartment.

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The allegations were also made by Michael Ashcroft, a conservative politician, in his book “The First Lady,” which was published in a series in the Daily Mail in February.

Ashcroft reported that “by the spring of 2018, a few Johnson employees became aware that the couple were having an affair.” Some were horrified that he had betrayed his wife, Marina, whom they knew and loved. Others thought it was none of their business. Everyone now understands why Johnson is keen to have Curry as chief of staff.” This article is still online.

Alan Duncan, the former Secretary of State, wrote in his book, Into It: The Private Diaries of a Secretary, that one entry in his April 2018 memoir read: “Apparently Carrie Symonds, Head of Press at Conservative HQ, is set to He becomes a Spade at the State Department. It’s the first time I’ve heard of her.”

SPAD is a private advisor. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Paul Lachmer, who studies journalism ethics at City University of London, said there were many strange things in the story: why, having decided to publish it, the Times did not put the story on the front page; Why extracted? Why silence about it?

“When something is published in the newspaper, you usually stand by your journalist, not just take it down,” he said. He said it was a “questionable decision” by The Times of London not to comment on their decision.

“The ethical stance on this is for the paper to say, ‘We’ve pulled the story while we evaluate it further. We don’t want to post something we think is wrong. We’ll check it out more and if we’re happy with it, we’ll republish it in the newspaper tomorrow.

The story can be found easily. Pictures of the printed story that made it to the first editions were widely shared on social media. “If this had been 30 years ago, he would have quietly disappeared,” Lashmer said.

“A few would grumble and that would be. But everyone passed the page image and it spread like wildfire. I expected it to have a greater impact after it was pulled and then quietly left in the corner of the paper where it was,” said the professor,

This depends on how long this takes.

And the Telegraph reported that Christopher Gedett, Johnson’s former ethics adviser, who resigned last week, said the foreign minister who had offered the future wife a senior position “might be ripe for investigation”.

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