Lord Geidt: Resignation timing questioned by Andrew Marr
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Lord Christopher Geidt has announced he will resign from his position as Independent Advisor on Ministers’ interests. The surprising revelation comes as the political fallout from the Sue Gray report had begun to settle and further resignations of senior politicians had not been anticipated. The Prime Minister is certain to face “embarrassing” backlash as rival MPs will question the decision of Boris Johnson’s close advisor to step down from his role. The resignation of Lord Geidt was described as a “huge blow” for Mr Johnson as the Prime Minister had hoped to secure the support of his advisors moving forward following his victory in the recent Conservative party vote of confidence.
LBC Westminster editor Ben Kentish described his surprise at the timing of the senior advisor’s resignation as he suggested “partygate was effectively over.”
Speaking to LBC host Andrew Marr, Mr Kentish said: “It was only 48 hours ago that Lord Geidt, answering questions from senior MPs on the public administration committee in the House of Commons, was asked directly if he had considered resigning over Partygate.
“He gave a very cryptic answer but seemed to suggest that yes, he had considered it and had decided not to.
“Why is he now resigning when partygate is effectively over?
“Nothing immediate seems to have happened – that is the curiosity about this.”
Lord Geidt acknowledged his resignation on Wednesday evening in a brief statement that gave no clear indication of what exactly had prompted his dramatic exit.
The statement read: “With regret, I feel that it is right that I am resigning from my post as Independent Advisor on Ministers’ Interests.”
Mr Kentish continued: “It’s a huge blow for Boris Johnson.
“This is his own advisor on standards, someone who had been rumoured to have been considering resignation several weeks ago, Number Ten talked him out of it.”
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The Westminster editor added: “They [Number Ten] understood the difficulty, the optics of his own advisor on this resigning and that has now happened.
“This is the first week in months that we haven’t really been talking about Partygate.”
Mr Marr interjected to clarify as he said: “Was the first week.”
The political focus on the Sue Gray report had largely faded from the Westminster political sphere over recent weeks as attention had been drawn towards the Government’s controversial plan to deport migrant arrivals to Rwanda for processing.
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Mr Kentish said: “Now right back on the agenda, questions about integrity and so on that had, to an extent, faded into the background.”
The correspondent suggested Mr Johnson would face renewed backlash surrounding Partygate events as opposition MPs begin to speculate the Downing Street lockdown breaches drove Lord Geidt to resign.
The Prime Minister had hoped to cement support for his leadership after his success in the recent vote of confidence, which he won by 211 votes to 148.
The resignation of the “distinguished public servant” is now set to fuel further doubt in the Conservative party support for Mr Johnson as Prime Minister.
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