A scathing report by Lord Geidt said there was a “legitimate question” whether Boris Johnson’s Partygate fine breached the Ministers’ Code – and said he “did not seem willing to have his own behavior judged”.
Boris Johnson’s Partygate fine may have breached the Ministerial Code, the Prime Minister’s ethics chief suggested tonight.
Lord Geidt warned there was a “legitimate question” about whether an illegal birthday celebration on June 19, 2020 broke the code of ethics that guides all politicians in government.
In a scathing annual report slipped out at No10 ahead of the Queen’s Jubilee, Lord Geidt demanded that Boris Johnson give a public account of whether or not he believed he had broken the code.
In a scathing rebuke, Lord Geidt said he had repeatedly asked the Prime Minister to publicly explain why he thought a fine was not against the Code of Conduct for Ministers – but said: “That advice has not been heeded.”
The move puts new pressure on Boris Johnson as nearly 30 Tory MPs are calling for his resignation – prompting speculation there could be a no-confidence vote as early as next week.
Two sources today told the Mirror Lord Geidt he was considering his future in the role – but Number 10 denied he had offered his resignation.
A source said No. 10 “spent all day trying to talk him into it.”
The independent adviser on ministerial interests also handed over the Prime Minister’s proposed reforms – blocking a request by Lord Geidt to launch his own inquiries without the Prime Minister’s permission.
That means Lord Geidt can only investigate whether the Prime Minister’s £50 fine breaks the code if the Prime Minister gives him permission.
The peer wrote: “For many years there have been calls for the independent adviser to be given an independent right to initiate inquiries into the conduct of ministers.
“The changes now offered by the government are at a low level of ambition.”
The peer suggested Boris Johnson is making it “difficult to inspire confidence in the Ministerial Code” because he refuses to refer to it publicly.
Lord Geidt wrote: “Unfairly or not, the feeling has developed that the Prime Minister may not be willing to measure his own conduct against the obligations of the Code.”
He continued: “It can be particularly difficult to inspire that confidence in Ministerial Code when a Prime Minister whose code it is refuses to refer to it.
“In the case of the recent notice issued to and paid for by the Prime Minister, the legitimate question has been whether these facts alone could constitute a breach of the Ministerial Code’s overriding obligation to comply with the law.
“It may be that the Prime Minister considers that there is no such breach of his Ministerial Code.
“In that case, I think a prime minister should respond accordingly and state his case publicly.”
But the prime minister blamed officials for the dispute, claiming there was a “breakdown in communications” between their two offices.
“I was not aware of the emphasis you place on the lack of an explicit reference to the Ministerial Code,” Mr Johnson wrote.
He added: “All things considered, I have not violated the Code.
“In arriving at the conclusion I have given due consideration to previous precedents of ministers unwittingly breaking regulations when there was no intention of breaking the law.”
A growing number of Tories believe Boris Johnson will face a no-confidence vote as early as next week, as more MPs questioned whether he had told the truth about the parties in No 10.
Former leader William Hague said today the Prime Minister is in “real trouble” and Tory MPs are “moving towards a vote” “either next week or towards the end of June”.
Reports surfaced today that Tory is flogging and even the Prime Minister himself has been yelling at wavering MPs in a desperate ‘save Boris’ campaign.
It comes after nearly 30 Tory MPs publicly called for the PM’s resignation and several others publicly criticized him over Sue Gray’s Partygate report while pausing in front of a no-confidence letter.
It takes 54 letters to the Back Bench 1922 Committee to trigger a vote of no confidence. Most believe he will survive — although Theresa May survived hers in 2018, she ended up quitting months later.
Former ally Andrea Leadsom today accused Boris Johnson of “unacceptable failures in leadership” as the Prime Minister’s office fell into fresh jeopardy.
And another MP tabled a letter asking for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.
John Stevenson said: “Unfortunately, the Prime Minister does not seem ready to get down to the nitty gritty and submit to such a vote.
“Therefore, the only option left to Conservative MPs is to allow a vote of confidence. I have already taken the appropriate measures.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-partying-boris-johnson-broken-27115836 Celebrating Boris Johnson may have broken ministerial code, says ethics chief in damning report