Boris Johnson's ethics adviser Lord Geidt resigns in wake of Partygate

June 15, 2022

Lord Geidt QUITS: Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser resigns after weeks of speculation about his future following Partygate scandal

Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser has quit tonight after weeks of speculation about his future following the Partygate scandal.

Lord Geidt is leaving his role as the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.

In a short one-line statement published on the Government’s website, he said: ‘With regret, I feel that it is right that I am resigning from my post.’

The peer’s departure comes little more than 24 hours after he told MPs he felt ‘frustration’ at Mr Johnson’s response to being fined by police for breaking Covid lockdown rules.

Lord Geidt also described how ‘pressures’ had been created by an ‘especially busy year’ in his role.

As well as the Partygate row, he has also previously conducted an investigation into the funding of the PM’s refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.

At the end of last month, Lord Geidt made a dramatic intervention into the row over the PM’s Covid fine.

He acknowledged there was a ‘legitimate question’ about whether Mr Johnson had broken ministerial rules.

Ministers have traditionally been expected to resign their roles if they breach the ministerial code. 

Lord Geidt also questioned the PM’s willingness to be seen to ‘take responsibility for his own conduct’ in relation to the rules for ministers.

Mr Johnson responded by insisting his fine was not a breach of the code. 

The PM also blamed a ‘failure of communications’ between Number 10 and Lord Geidt for him not mentioning the code in any of his public statements on Partygate.

It came after Lord Geidt revealed how he’d suggested to No10 officials that Mr Johnson should be ‘ready to offer public comment’ on his obligations under the code.

In a sign of the tensions between him and the PM, the peer noted how this advice had ‘not been heeded’.

In response to Lord Geidt’s resignation tonight, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner highlighted how he was the second ethics adviser to resign under Mr Johnson’s premiership.

Sir Alex Allan resigned from the role in November 2020 after the PM overruled his finding that Home Secretary Priti Patel had bullied staff.

Ms Rayner said: ‘The PM has now driven both of his own handpicked ethics advisers to resign in despair.

‘If even they can’t defend his conduct in office, how can anyone believe he is fit to govern?

‘Yet he remains propped up in office by a Conservative Party that is mired in sleaze and totally unable to tackle the cost of living crisis facing the British people.

“The person who should be leaving No10 tonight is Boris Johnson himself.

‘Just how long does the country have to wait before Tory MPs finally do the right thing?’

Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain also called for Mr Johnson’s resignation.

She said: ‘When both of Boris Johnson’s own ethics advisers have quit, it is obvious that he is the one who needs to go.

‘This PM has constantly lied and broken the laws he wrote. It’s clear as day that he has broken the ministerial code too.

‘For the good of Britain, the next resignation we should be hearing about is that of Boris Johnson.’

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