Lord Geidt: PM’s ethics adviser resigns one day after admitting ‘frustration’ over partygate | Political news

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Lord Geidt has resigned as adviser to the Prime Minister on ministerial interests.

He has tendered his resignation to Boris Johnson, according to a brief statement posted on the government’s website on Wednesday evening.

“With regret, I feel it is right that I resign as Independent Adviser on the Interests of Ministers,” the statement read.

A senior Number 10 source said Lord Geidt’s resignation was “a complete surprise” and is “a mystery” to Mr Johnson.

“It was only on Monday that Lord Geidt asked if he could stay for six months,” the source added.

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

In his annual report, the Ethics Adviser said: “In the case of the notice of fixed fine recently issued and paid by the Prime Minister, a legitimate question arose as to whether these facts alone could have constituted a breach of the overriding obligation within the Ministerial Code to obey the law.”

On Tuesday, Lord Geidt refused to deny to MPs that he had considered quitting over Mr Johnson’s response to being penalized for breaking lockdown rules amid the scandal.

Lord Geidt told the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee that he felt “frustration” at the lockdown exit events in Downing Street and Whitehall.

“I’m glad the Prime Minister was able to respond to my report and in doing so addressed aspects of things that clearly frustrated me,” he told the committee.

“Resignation is one of the rather direct but rare tools available to the adviser. I’m glad my frustrations were dealt with the way they were.”

Mr Johnson has repeatedly maintained that he did not breach the ministerial code.

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The Prime Minister told Mumsnet he was ‘surprised and surprised’ to receive his fixed penalty notice from police investigating lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street during the pandemic.

“With respect to the Notice of Fixed Penalty for my attendance in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020, I believe that, considering all the circumstances, I did not breach the code,” he said. wrote in a reply letter to Lord Geidt in May. .

It was previously reported that Lord Geidt threatened to resign after the publication of Sue Gray’s report if the Prime Minister did not publicly explain his actions.

Lord Geidt is the second person to step down as Mr Johnson’s ethics adviser in his less than three years as Prime Minister.

Sir Alex Allan resigned in 2020 after Mr Johnson refused to accept his finding that Home Secretary Priti Patel had intimidated civil servants.

Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner wondered how anyone could believe the Prime Minister “is fit to govern”.

“The Prime Minister has now pushed his two hand-picked ethics advisers to resign in desperation. If even they cannot defend his conduct in office, how can anyone believe he is fit to govern?” she said in a statement.

“Yet he remains backed in power by a Conservative party mired in squalor and utterly unable to deal with the cost of living crisis facing the British people.

“The person who should leave Number 10 tonight is Boris Johnson himself. How long does the country have to wait before Tory MPs finally do the right thing?”

Labour’s Chris Bryant, chairman of the standards and privileges committees, added that it should be the Prime Minister who resigns and not Lord Geidt.

“Christopher Geidt is one of the most honorable men I have ever met,” he posted on social media.

“At the end of the day, he was a decent man working for an indecent prime minister.

“He thought he could quietly make incremental changes, but number 10 repeatedly lied to him.

“In honor, Johnson should resign.”

Legal campaigner Gina Miller was one of the first to react to Lord Geidt’s resignation on social media, tweeting: “Finally!”

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister was criticized by Lord Geidt for an official investigation into the renovation of his Downing Street apartment for failing to disclose messages he had exchanged with a Tory peer who originally paid for the renovations.

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Prime Minister’s apology for overhaul messages

Lord Geidt said it showed “insufficient” respect for his role.

Mr Johnson offered a ‘humble and sincere apology’ to Lord Geidt over the matter.

The previous year, Lord Geidt had found that the Prime Minister had not breached the ministerial code during the renovation.

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