Downing Street has refused to comment on claims Boris Johnson tried to give his now wife Carrie Johnson a £100,000-a-year government job while he was foreign secretary.
The story was published in The Times newspaper on Saturday, featuring in an early edition of the paper, before being removed from later editions.
No 10 admitted there were conversations between them and The Times before the newspaper dropped the report.
The story, which appeared on page 5 and was written by veteran Westminster journalist Simon Walters, alleged that the PM tried to appoint his then-girlfriend as his chief-of-staff in 2018 while they were in a relationship.
Johnson was still married to his second wife, Marina Wheeler, at the time.
The allegation first emerged in a biography of Mrs Johnson, written by Tory donor and peer Lord Ashcroft.
The Times story expanded on the accusations, claiming the prime minister's advisers prevented him from carrying out the plan.
After it was removed from The Times, Walters told the Guardian: “I stand by the story. I went to all the relevant people over two days. Nobody offered me an on-the-record denial and Downing St didn’t deny it off the record either.”
The article does not appear on the Times website. The allegation was also reportedly covered by the MailOnline, though no version of the article appears online either.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said on Monday he would not comment on the claims as they allegedly took place prior to him becoming prime minister. Instead he pointed journalists to rebuttals by Mrs Johnson and other political colleagues.
The spokesperson said: “It has been made clear by... political colleagues in Number 10 that it is not true and by Mrs Johnson’s spokesperson. They have set out the position very clearly. ”
Johnson's former top adviser and now prominent critic Dominic Cummings claimed on Twitter that the allegations were true.
Cummings wrote: "The 'missing story' (pulled by Times after No 10 call Fri night) is true.
"Walters repeatedly published accurate stories, e.g on illegal donations.
"Times pathetic to have folded & shd reverse ferret [sic].
According to a No 10 spokesperson, Mrs Johnson has denied the claims are true. "It has been made clear by people who are political colleagues in number 10 that is not true and by Mrs Johnson’s spokesperson," the PM's spokesperson said on Monday.
Yahoo News UK has approached The Times and MailOnline for comment.