PM’s ethics chief resigned after being asked to advise on a “willful” breach of the ministerial code
Lord Geidt accused No 10 of putting him in an “impossible and abhorrent” position in an explosive resignation letter in which he said he had been asked to advise on a “willful” breach of the Ministers’ Code
Image: George Cracknell Wright/LNP)
Boris Johnson’s former ethics chief said he resigned after being asked to advise on a “willful and intentional breach” of the Ministers’ Code.
In an explosive resignation letter, Lord Geidt accused No10 of putting him in an “impossible and abhorrent” position.
He said: “The notion that a Prime Minister could in any way willfully breach his own code is an affront.
“A willful breach, or even intent to do so, would be to suspend the provisions of the Code to serve a political purpose.
“This would not only mock respect for the Code, but would authorize the suspension of its provisions in regulating the conduct of Her Majesty’s Ministers. I can’t participate.
His shocked resignation is putting further pressure on Mr Johnson, with two critical by-elections next week and the upcoming Privileges Committee inquiry into whether he lied about Partygate.
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Lord Geidt initially only issued a brief statement, with no details as to why he had decided to quit.
He said: “It is with regret that I see fit that I resign from my post as independent adviser on the interests of ministers.”
He had previously clashed with the Prime Minister – first over the inquiry into funding for the renovation of the Downing Street flat.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Ellis was dragged into the House of Commons to ward off questions before the letters were released.
But his attempts to defend Mr Johnson were met with laughter as he told MPs: “The Prime Minister upholds the highest standards of public life.”
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Fleur Anderson said the departure of two ethics advisers was a “disgrace” to the government.
He said: “Losing an ethics adviser was really embarrassing but losing two in two years just days after the Prime Minister’s own anti-corruption czar left him, well it’s becoming a bit of a pattern.
“It is a pattern to demean the principles of our democracy. The Prime Minister has now ousted his two hand-picked ethics advisers to desperately step down in two years, it’s a disgrace to this government.”
This breaking story will be updated.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-pms-ethics-chief-quit-27249837 PM's ethics chief resigned after being asked to advise on a "willful" breach of the ministerial code