Boris Johnson has dodged a question over whether he ever considered appointing his wife Carrie to a government job.
According to The Mirror, the prime minister discussed environmental roles for his wife in autumn 2020, either for the Cop26 summit or with the Royal Family.
The latest claim followed reports Johnson tried to hire her as his chief of staff when he was foreign secretary in 2018.
Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday, Labour MP Chris Elmore asked Johnson: “Has he ever considered the appointment of his current spouse to a government post or to any organisation in one of the royal households?
“Be honest prime minister, yes or no?”
Johnson did not answer directly, telling the Commons: “I know why the party opposite wants to talk about non-existent jobs in the media, because they don’t want to talk about what’s going on in the real world.”
Keir Starmer, the Labour leader also took a swipe at Johnson over the reports after the PM made comments about the job being done by the shadow cabinet.
“If I do need advice, say about £100,000 job at the Foreign Office. I will ask him for a recommendation,” he said.
Downing Street has said Johnson never recommended Carrie for a government role, but stopped short of denying that he considered or discussed the move.
The Times first reported on Saturday that Johnson tried to hire Carrie in the Foreign Office, but the article was removed from later editions.
No.10 admitted there were conversations between Downing Street and the paper after its initial publication and before it was pulled.
Earlier, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, would only describe the reports as “flawed” rather than untrue.