Boris Johnson’s fiancée wanted to send complaint letter about Dilyn the Welsh dog story
Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds wanted to send a letter of complaint about a story in The Times on Dilyn the Welsh dog, it has been reported.
The article included claims that they were going to ditch the adopted pooch, which has been rescued as a puppy by Friends of Animals Wales.
The letter shows Symonds wanted Johnson to support her formal protest that Jack Russell cross was not “chronically ill” and there were no plans to “callously rehome” him.
However, the UK Prime Minister refused to back the missive, a draft of which was leaked to The Daily Mail.
Dominic Cummings told MPs on Wednesday that Symonds went “completely crackers” over the report that claimed the couple hated Dilyn.
Johnson’s former chief adviser Cummings said Symonds’ reaction had diverted the Prime Minister’s attention at a crucial stage ahead of the first lockdown in early March last year.
In the letter the couple threatened to take their complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
The article, which Symonds denounced as “total crap” on social media at the time, said Dilyn might be put up for adoption because they were fed up with trying to house train the “sickly animal”.
After reportedly telling Symonds he’d send the letter, Johnson changed his mind after Cummings intervened.
An insider told The Daily Mail: “The PM went along with it initially because Carrie was very cross. It was none of Dom’s business but he hated Carrie and went berserk.”
The letter to The Times said: “We write further to an article on 11 March 2020 entitled `Dilyn the Downing Street dog to be reshuffled’.
“This article is based on a wholly false premise and contains a number of highly inaccurate claims published in spite of categorical on the record denials by Downing St.
“To be absolutely clear, it is completely false to allege that Dilyn will be rehoused now or at any point in the future. Furthermore, it is also totally untrue to suggest that he suffers from chronic ill-health.
“Dilyn is and always will be a much-loved member of our family. He is a happy and healthy dog and making a claim to the contrary is entirely without foundation. The article also makes a number of highly inaccurate damaging allegations about our home and private life.
“These are not only false but a gross invasion of our privacy. Despite our complaint, the paper has refused to publish a suitable apology and correction. The article is extremely upsetting and hurtful, particularly given our well-documented commitment to animal welfare.
“As a result of publication of the article we have received and continue to receive abuse from concerned members of the public misled into believing that we would callously rehome our much-loved family dog.
“It is hugely disappointing that you have failed to take responsibility for the damage you have caused by publishing these untrue and unwarranted claims. We have been offered the opportunity to have a letter published outlining our position.
“This is inadequate and unacceptable. Despite our best efforts towards amicable resolution, we have no option but to pursue the matter formally with IPSO (the Independent Press Standards Organisation) for full and proper recourse.
“The article is in breach of the Editor’s Code of Practice in terms of Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 2 (Privacy), Clause 3 (Harassment) and Clause 6 (Children). We look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.”