‘Not clear’ why PM’s ethics adviser Lord Geidt resigned, says Dominic Raab – as number 10 under pressure to explain | Political news

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Dominic Raab has said he does not know why Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser quit – as Number 10 came under pressure to explain what was behind the decision.

Mr Raab dismissed the suggestion that Lord Geidt’s departure had a bad influence on the Prime Minister in an interview with Sky News – and said Downing Street would provide an update later.

The Deputy Prime Minister instead pointed to the “grids” Lord Geidt had before a select committee this week and advice he had been asked on a “commercially sensitive” matter as potential factors.

by Lord Geidt decision reportedly took Downing Street by surprise and follows the departure of Sir Alex Allan, his predecessor in the role, in 2020, and the resignation of the Prime Minister’s anti-corruption champion John Penrose last week.

Last month Lord Geidt said there was a ‘legitimate question’ whether the Prime Minister breached the Ministerial Code after he was given a party fine for attending a birthday party in the Hall Cabinet in June 2020 when indoor socializing was banned.

On Tuesday he refused to deny to MPs that he had considered quitting over Mr Johnson’s response to the fine.

Asked whether the departure of Lord Geidt, in addition to those of Sir Alex and Mr Penrose, had a bad effect on Mr Johnson, Mr Raab said: “I don’t understand at all what is the reason.

“There are clearly these issues around the commercially sensitive matter on which he has been engaged or on which he has been asked to advise.

“I understand that at the start of the week he was hoping to stay for another six months.

“He obviously had that grilling in front of MPs, so the risk is that you add one plus one and you get three.

“There will be another update to Number 10 later today.”

No resignation letter has been published since Lord Geidt’s departure was announced on Wednesday evening.

A brief statement read: ‘With regret, I feel it is only fair that I resign as Independent Adviser on the Interests of Ministers.’

Labour’s shadow international trade secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told Sky News: ‘What we can’t have here is number 10 not making public the reason… we have to see a situation where number 10 is open about it.”

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