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Mon Jun 20, 2022, 09:33 AM

Carriegate: No 10 admits pressuring The Times to drop Carrie Johnson story

If No. 10 and the Times and Mail thought that spiking yesterday's revelations about Johnson's failed attempt to land his wife a £100,000-a-year Foreign Office post would be the end of the matter, they couldn't have been more wrong. With the story by now having gone utterly viral, finally the Johnsons' "spokespersons" have piped up on the record:

Claim that Johnson tried to install partner in high-paying Foreign Office job denied by wife’s spokesperson

Downing Street has confirmed that members of Boris Johnson’s team intervened following the publication of a story about his wife Carrie in The Times, but denied that the prime minister himself contacted the paper to complain.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson confirmed that No 10 was in contact with The Times before and after the publication of the first edition, but denied that the prime minister himself had contacted deputy editor Tony Gallagher, who was in charge of the paper that night.

It is understood that no legal action has been taken by No 10 in relation to the story.

The PM’s spokesperson said that he was unable to issue a formal comment on the allegation, as it related to the period when Mr Johnson was foreign secretary from 2016-18.
The spokesperson added: “We were approached before publication and spoke to them then. I think we spoke to them after publication as well. I don’t know the exact timeline of it.”


The same "official spokesperson" repeated denials that the incident ever happened that had been issued by "others" and "Mrs Johnson's spokesperson".

One person who has a clearer idea of the timeline is senior Times journalist Simon Walters, who has a long reputation for reliable investigative reporting and who wrote the story, which fleshed out details carried in Lord Ashcroft's latest exposé, First Lady: Intrigue at the Court of Carrie and Boris Johnson, published in March, which the "first lady" dismissed at the time, again via a "spokesperson", in tellingly Johnsonian terms as "regurgitated lies".

Despite the predictable, albeit belated, denials, Walters - whose past scoops have included the furore over redecoration costs of the No. 10 flat funded by donors, among other all too regular scandals - isn't backing down:

Times journalist says he ‘stands by’ Boris scoop
Talking to the New European’s Mandrake reporter, Simon Walters said: “I stand by the story 100 per cent.

“I was in lengthy and detailed communication with No 10 at a high level, Ben Gascoigne and Mrs Johnson’s spokeswoman for up to 48 hours before the paper went to press.

“At no point did any of them offer an on-the-record denial of any element of the story.”

The award-winning political journalist adds: “Nor have any of these three offered an on-the-record denial to me since. No 10 and Mr Gascoigne did not deny it off-the-record either.”


Suspicions about Johnson having a habit of seeking preferment for his innumerable paramours might have been borne out by investigations into his lucrative *ahem* sponsorship of Jennifer Arcuri during his time as London Mayor, if not for the fact that his and his team's emails and those of Ms Arcuri from that period tragically went *poof" when he left office:

Boris Johnson and his team's City Hall emails about affair scandal 'disappeared' with no backups after he left mayoralty

EXCLUSIVE: Deleting the docs hampered the police watchdog investigation into a public-money scandal

Boris Johnson broke City Hall rules by failing to transfer his emails as mayor to Greater London Authority officers when he left office - a move which has hampered the investigation into his alleged affair with US entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri. The Independent Office of Police Conduct has looked at allegations of Misconduct in Public Office against Boris Johnson when he was mayor in the context of his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, after the GLA's monitoring officer made a referral to the police watchdog in September 2019.

But the probe found that evidence the watchdog believed would have been relevant to its investigations into the scandal had been deleted in breach of City Hall guidance. Ms Arcuri’s business had been given £126,000 in public money, and she secured places on three overseas trade missions led by then-mayor Johnson. Ms Arcuri has since admitted they had an affair but both sides have denied any wrongdoing.

The mayor’s office also handed her firm £10,000 in sponsorship cash “networking summits” put together by Ms Arcuri in 2013. Johnson has claimed "everything was done in accordance with the code” and “with full propriety” - and that he had no interest to declare. But revelations about their relationship have cast doubt on the former Conservative mayor's claims. The GLA's Code of Conduct says public-office holders including Mr Johnson should not act in any way to gain benefits for families or friends.
The GLA’s oversight committee is currently conducting its own review into the Arcuri scandal, with a report due out in the next few months.


I wonder whether the GLA oversight committee report will come out before or after a coming general election - and whether it will matter as much whenever it does, with Johnson receding into the past like an ugly nightmare.

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Reply Carriegate: No 10 admits pressuring The Times to drop Carrie Johnson story (Original post)
Emrys Jun 2022 OP
AllaN01Bear Jun 2022 #1
Emrys Jun 2022 #2

Response to Emrys (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 10:14 AM

1. why does any scandal after water gate have to have the priefiex "gate " after it?

and always coverup too. and yet they got caught . time in court baby.

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Response to AllaN01Bear (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 10:40 AM

2. Lazy media shorthand, really,

though sometimes we non-journalists do it ironically. For instance, in the UK we had a Gategate a few years ago.

It's a bit like the journalistic habit of saying "So-and-so did this after such-and-such", implying causality when the two occurrences may have no link except one happening after the other.

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