Simon Case admitted he had “an off-the-record conversation” about potential roles in a royal charity for the now prime minister’s wife after clue #10.
The Cabinet Secretary was responding to a letter from Deputy Labor Party Leader Angela Rayner challenging him about his involvement in Boris Johnson’s alleged efforts to get Carrie Johnson to high positions.
Ms Rayner asked Mr Case if he approached The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Trust in 2020 about a position for Mr Johnson’s then fiancée.
In the fall of 2020, a former member of the Number 10 team asked about Mrs. Johnson’s opportunities at environmental charities.Simon Case
In response, Mr. Case insisted that “there was no inappropriate behavior”, saying: “I did not recommend Mrs. Johnson for any role.
“In the fall of 2020, a former member of the Number 10 team asked about Mrs Johnson’s opportunities at environmental charities.
“I was happy to have an informal conversation with someone associated with the Earthshot Prize about what roles were available, as I would with anyone with relevant experience who would like to be involved in charitable work.”
The prime minister on Wednesday did not deny claims he spoke with aides about his wife’s environmental role in 2020, either at the Cop26 summit or with the royal family.
This followed reports that Mr Johnson was trying to hire Carrie Symonds, who she was then, as his chief of staff for £100,000 a year when he was Foreign Secretary in 2018.
In her letter to Ms. Case, Ms. Reiner wrote: “Now the Prime Minister has serious questions to answer about potential rule violations and conflicts of interest in his lobbying for a high-paying, tax-funded job for his partner, Carrie Johnson.” in 2018. .
“Reports suggest that, as Foreign Secretary, Mr Johnson sought to secure the appointment of Ms Johnson to a position at the Foreign Office in 2018, as well as other positions, including a position with the Royal Charity.”
She said it raised “serious questions about meanness and corruption” in Downing Street.
Ms Rayner went on to say: “It is obviously inappropriate for the prime minister to be judge and jury in his own case, so I ask you to confirm that this matter will be independently investigated and will be fully investigated.”
She also wrote separately to Lord Evans, Chairman of the Public Living Standards Committee, urging “an independent inquiry into the matter be initiated”.
Downing Street said Mr Johnson never recommended Mrs Johnson for a government position, but did not deny that he had considered or discussed the move.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said this week: “The Prime Minister has never recommended Mrs. Johnson for a government position or for the Earthshot Prize.
“Moreover, I would not enter into any conversations that the prime minister may or may not have in private.”
In her letter, Mrs Rayner said that she had written to Mr Case “in the absence of an independent ministerial adviser” after Lord Heidt’s resignation.
Last week, Johnson’s independent ethics adviser resigned, saying he was barely clinging to his role above the party gates, but ultimately resigned after the prime minister forced him into an “incredible and odious” stance due to steel tariffs.
Ms Rayner said she was concerned about the “clear hole in the standards system” left by Lord Geidt’s resignation.