Johnson’s Ethics Advisor – Lord Geidt – Resigns

Lord Geidt
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The name Lord Geidt might have a familiar ring to it – that’s because he was involved in investigating whether Boris Johnson did anything wrong when accepting cash for his Number 11 flat refurbishment.

Geidt served as the Advisor on Ministerial Interests and as Boris Johnson has made changes to the Ministerial Code, Geidt was one of the only people in his role as Advisor that could censure the PM and MPs if they broke the Ministerial Code so the timing of his resignation is rather interesting.

Geidt served as the Advisor on Ministerial Interests from the 28th April 2021 and the 15th of June 2022. Before that he held a number of important political/governmental roles including spending 10 years as the Queen’s private secretary.

In a statement on the Government’s website Geigt merely said “With regret, I feel that it is right that I am resigning from my post as Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.” Hardly an Earth-shattering revelation, is it?

According to some Downing Street sources, the BBC reports that his resignation was a “total surprise and a mystery.”

Geidt recently had the enviable task of having to deal with the fallout from Party Gate and said in his Annual Report on the 1st of June that there is an “impression… the prime minister may be unwilling to have his own conduct judged against” the ministerial code.

He also asked if there was a legitimate question over whether the Prime Minister’s actions during the lockdown constituted a breach of duty under the ministerial code – something that’s bound to have put him at odds with Johnson, especially in the wake of the code changes.

With Geidt gone, there’s currently no one in place to keep an eye on what the Prime Minister is doing – although it’s important to note that the Independent Advisor can’t act that independently, they need to be asked by the Prime Minister to investigate a suspected breach of the code.

While people were a bit suspicious of Geidt’s handling of the “Cash For Access Wallpaper” affair (many thought he should have censured Johnson a lot more harshly), he did at least seem to be fairly independent of Johnson’s control.

This is the second advisor on Ministerial Interests to resign during Johnson’s 3 year stint at Prime Minister which isn’t good optically considering the amount of breaches of the Ministerial Code Johnson has been accused of.

It will be interesting to see who Johnson choses to replace Geidt with and whether the post will be “Independent” after the appointment.


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