BORIS Johnson is facing a fresh ethics row after Downing Street refused to deny the Prime Minister discussed finding his wife Carrie two high-paid jobs.

The Daily Mirror said Mr Johnson spoke with his aides about his wife becoming a green ambassador in the run-up to the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, or communications director for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize.

Downing Street said the PM had never recommended Mrs Johnson for a Government role, but stopped short of denying that he considered or discussed the move.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has never recommended Mrs Johnson for a Government role, or one as part of the Earthshot Prize. Beyond that I wouldn’t get into any conversations the Prime Minister may or may not have had in private.”

It follows a weekend report in the Times that while Foreign Secretary in 2018, Mr Johnson wanted to hire Carrie Symonds, then his girlfriend, as his £100,000-a-year chief of staff.

The paper pulled the story after a strenuous denial to its duty editor.

Downing Street confirmed it intervened after the story was published, but insisted it had only done so because it was “totally untrue” and “discredited”.

However the respected journalist behind it, Simon Walters, is standing by it “100 per cent”.

He said he did not get an on-the-record denial during talks with No 10 before publication.

Dominic Cummings, the PM’s former chief aide, also supported the report and alleged Mr Johnson also wanted to appoint his wife to a Government job in late 2020.

The Tory MP Michael Fabricant appeared to confirm Mr Walters' story credence yesterday, when he tweeted: “Boris enquired whether a highly qualified person, his wife Carrie, could be Chief of Staff at the FCDO [Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office] as she had held a similar post elsewhere. He was told No. So she wasn’t appointed. Errrrrr. That’s it.”

Mr Johnson was married to someone else at the time.

The decision by the Times to withdraw the story inadvertently drew extra attention to it, a phenomenon known as the Streisand Effect, after the singer Barbra Streisand, whose bid to block publication of pictures of her house gave them global publicity.

The latest sleaze row comes as the Tories try to hang on in Westminster byelections in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton tomorrow., with defeat in both a possibility.

The SNP last night urged the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to investigate whether Mr Johnson had tried to get his former girlfriend a plum public sector job in 2018.

SNP Cabinet Office spokesperson Brendan O’Hara said: “This is yet another deeply murky story that Boris Johnson finds himself in the middle of, and another report that a Tory minister offered a cushy, tax-payer funded role to their nearest and dearest.

“Given the stench of cronyism surrounding the Tories at Westminster, and the multiple occasions on which Boris Johnson has lied, cheated, wilfully broken the law, and offered senior roles to close allies and friends, it is incumbent on the Cabinet Secretary to take this latest allegation seriously.

"The public deserve answers over whether Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary used his position to try to get his girlfriend a £100,000 job funded by taxpayers."