Why did the Times really pull their story about Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds?
Journalists at the paper believe there was a high-level intervention to remove it.
The Times' decision to pull a story about Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds, without any explanation, raises lots of questions.
The story, which suggested that Johnson had attempted to give Symonds a £100,000 job as his chief of staff while he was still married to his second wife Marina Wheeler, was published on Saturday in the paper but has since been wiped entirely from all their digital editions.
The Mail Online, which had re-written the Times story for their website, also followed suit in pulling their version.
The decision to pull it is a curious one given it is essentially a follow-up of a tale already published earlier this year in Lord Ashcroft's book about Symonds, the core of which was also serialised by the Mail at the time, and indeed is still available on their website.
Even more curiously the journalist who wrote the story is the multi-award winning investigative journalist Simon Walters, who says that he "100%" stands by the story and adds that Downing Street has still not given an on-the-record denial of it.
Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings also says the story is true and suggests that it was pulled by the Times following pressure from No. 10.
A spokesperson for Carrie has denied the story, describing it as "totally untrue."
However, Walters says he spoke to multiple government sources who confirmed the story, while journalists at the Guardian and the I also appear to have independently verified the central allegation.
So what's really going on here? Did Downing Street succeed in getting to the Times?
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