Lord Geidt resigns as Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser
Lord Geidt, Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser, has resigned from his position in the wake of revelations about lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.
The peer – whose official position is the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests – has expressed discomfort over the ‘partygate’ saga in recent weeks.
Announcing his resignation, Lord Geidt said on Wednesday evening: “With regret, I feel that it is right that I am resigning from my post as Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.”
Lord Geidt recently said it was reasonable to ask if the Prime Minister had breached the ministerial code after he was fined for breaking Covid laws for a birthday gathering during lockdown.
He repeated the position at a parliamentary committee appearance on Tuesday, during which he made clear to MPs that he had considered resigning.
Lord Geidt only took up the job in April 2021, meaning he has lasted only a little longer than a year in the job. It is the second time someone in the position has resigned under Mr Johnson.
Sir Alex Allan quit the role in late 2020 after Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, was not fired after she was found to have broken official guidance on ministerial behaviour.
‘One of the most honourable men I have ever met’
Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who until recently chaired the Committees on Standards and Privileges, tweeted: “Christopher Geidt is one of the most honourable men I have ever met.
“In the end he was a decent man working for an indecent Prime Minister. He thought he could discreetly bring about incremental change but he was repeatedly lied to by No 10. In honour Johnson should resign.”
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “The Prime Minister has now driven both of his own hand-picked ethics advisers to resign in despair. If even they can’t defend his conduct in office, how can anyone believe he is fit to govern?
“The person who should be leaving No 10 tonight is Boris Johnson himself. Just how long does the country have to wait before Tory MPs finally do the right thing?”
Downing Street appeared blindsided by the announcement, which was uploaded onto the Government website and included no explanation for the decision.
A senior No 10 source said: “This is a total surprise and a mystery to the Prime Minister.
“Only on Monday Lord Geidt asked if he could stay on for six months.
“And in hours of questioning in Parliament yesterday there was no hint that he’d even considered resignation. On the contrary.”