Lord Geidt resigns over ministerial code ‘affront’
Lord Geidt, Boris Johnson‘s former ethics adviser, claims he left because he was put in a “impossible and repulsive” position over a proposal to break the ministerial code.
He labeled it as a “affront” in his resignation letter, adding, “I can have no part in this.”
He told the PM that he was on the verge of resigning because of Partygate.
But it was a request for advice on a business matter that had forced him to resign.
Mr Johnson responded to the letter by thanking Lord Geidt for his service but expressing astonishment at his decision to retire.
Under Mr Johnson’s administration, Lord Geidt is the second ethics adviser to resign.
“It’s terrible that an honest man like Lord Geidt has been placed in a position where he felt he had no choice but to leave,” said Sir Alex Allan, who resigned from the job in 2020.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the Conservative Party was “engulfed in scandal and completely unable to address the cost-of-living problem.”
Lord Geidt expresses worry in his resignation letter about the prime minister’s response to rampant Covid rule-breaking in Downing Street, as detailed in Sue Gray’s report.
He claims he had determined that he could “remain credibly” as the PM’s adviser “although by a slim margin.”
He said, however, that a request for guidance this week on the government’s plan to take actions “that risk an intentional and deliberately infringement of the ministerial code” had put him in an “impossible and ugly position.”
He gave little information about the request, but said it was an affront that the prime minister “could to any degree be in the business of knowingly breaking his own code.”
“To suspend the requirements of the code for a political aim would be a willful breach, or even an intention to do so.”
This would not only be a parody of the code, but it would also allow the suspension of its rules governing the behavior of Her Majesty’s ministers.”