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Lord Geidt was the prime minister's independent adviser on ministerial interests (Photo: Dominic Lipinski via PA Wire/PA Images)
Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser has resigned, it has been announced.
In a major shock, Lord Geidt said he was quitting “with regret”, but that the time was right for him to go.
His departure comes just weeks after he said the prime minister had a “legitimate question” to answer over whether he breached the ministerial code over partygate.
He said the fixed penalty notice issued by the Metropolitan Police for breaking lockdown rules might have constituted a breach of the “overarching duty within the ministerial code of complying with the law”.
In response, Johnson said that the fine “did not breach” the code as there was “no intent to break the law”.
In a brief statement posted on the government website tonight, Lord Geidt said: “With regret, I feel that it is right that I am resigning from my post as independent adviser on ministers’ interests.”
His resignation comes just a day after appeared in front of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee.
During the question-and-answer session, he failed to deny that he had considered resigning over Johnson’s response to partygate.
Lord Geidt said he had felt “frustration” amid the partygate scandal.
“I am glad that the Prime Minister was able to respond to my report and in doing so addressed aspects of the things about which I was clearly frustrated,” he told the committee.
“Resignation is one of the rather blunt but few tools available to the adviser. I am glad that my frustrations were addressed in the way that they were.”
It was reported that Lord Geidt had threatened to quit last month after the publication of the Sue Gray report into lockdown breaches in Whitehall unless Mr Johnson issued a public explanation for his conduct.
Lord Geidt is the second person to resign as Mr Johnson’s ethics adviser during since he became PM less than three years ago.
Sir Alex Allan quit in 2020 after the prime minister refused to accept his finding that home secretary Priti Patel had bullied civil servants.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner 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?
“Yet he remains propped up in office by a Conservative Party that is mired in sleaze and totally unable to tackle the cost of living crisis facing the British people.
“The person who should be leaving Number 10 tonight is Boris Johnson himself. Just how long does the country have to wait before Tory MPs finally do the right thing?”
Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain said: “When both of Boris Johnson’s own ethics advisers have quit, it is obvious that he is the one who needs to go.
“This prime minister has constantly lied and broken the laws he wrote. It’s clear as day that he has broken the ministerial code too.
“For the good of Britain, the next resignation we should be hearing about is that of Boris Johnson.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.