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Tory minister heard of alleged plan to appoint Carrie Johnson to job in 2018

Tory minister heard of alleged plan to appoint Carrie Johnson to job in 2018
Alan Duncan noted the claim in his diaries at the time

Claims that Boris Johnson wanted to appoint his lover to a government job were heard ministers as far back as 2018, a diary entry suggests.

A story published in the Times newspaper over the weekend claimed Carrie Johnson, then Carrie Symonds, was set to be made a special advisor at the foreign office on a six-figure salary.

But despite publishing the story in its print edition the newspaper removed it from its subsequent digital edition and did not publish it on its website. The newspaper is yet to comment on the move.

Downing Street has confirmed that it played a part in having the story pulled.

A spokesperson for Carrie Johnson has categorically denied the claims, while a No 10 source has described it as a “grubby, discredited story”.

But it is not the first time the allegations have appeared. The story appeared in a critical biography of Carrie Johnson by the Conservative donor and peer Lord Ashcroft.

The claim was also mentioned in a diary kept by Alan Duncan, who was at the time a minister of state at the foreign office.

In his published diaries he noted on Sunday 22nd April 2018: “Apparently Carrie Symonds, head of press in Conservative HQ, is due to become a SPAD in the FCO. It’s the first I’ve heard of it.”

The original story published by the Times claimed that the idea fell apart when Mr Johnson’s closest advisers learned of the idea to hire Ms Symonds.

At the time Mr Johnson was married to Marina Wheeler, a barrister.

If it existed, the alleged plan never came to fruition and Mr Duncan, who has now retired, did not mention it again.

Ms Johnson was previously known as Carrie Symonds before marrying the prime minister. She worked at Conservative head office.