Boris Johnson’s ethics chief accuses PM of plotting ‘deliberate’ breach after quitting in bizarre row over steel tariffs


BORIS Johnson’s ethics chief has accused him of plotting a “deliberate” breach of the ministerial code – after quitting in a bizarre row over steel tariffs.

In a searing resignation letter published today, Lord Geidt said the PM had put him in an “impossible and odious” position. 

Lord Geidt has quit

But HOAR understands the dust-up centred on No10 plans to slap tariffs on steel which risks breaking World Trade Organisation rules.

As he flounced out, Lord Geidt fumed: “A deliberate breach, or even an intention to do so,would be to suspend the provisions of the Code to suit a political end.

“This would make a mockery not only of respect for the Code but licence the suspension of its provisions in governing the conduct of Her Majesty’s Ministers. I can have no part in this.”

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In his reply Mr Johnson said he was merely seeking his adviser’s advice on a decision to “protect a crucial industry”.

The PM added he was surprised Lord Geidt was quitting as on Monday he signalled his intention to stay in post for the next six months.

Lord Geidt appeared before MPs on Tuesday where he defended his decision to clear Mr Johnson over the Partygate scandal.But after quitting last night he said: “

This week, however, I was tasked to offer a view about the Government’s intention to consider measures which risk a deliberate and purposeful breach of the Ministerial Code.

“This request has placed me in an impossible and odious position. My informal response on Monday was that you and any other Minister should justify openly your position vis-à-vis the Code in such circumstances.

“However, the idea that a Prime Minister might to any degree be in the business of deliberately breaching his own Code is an affront.”

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