标签档案: Ministerial

面临“嘲笑”风险的部长守则, 鲍里斯·约翰逊的道德顾问警告

面临“嘲笑”风险的部长守则, 鲍里斯·约翰逊的道德顾问警告
Lord Geidt says his repeated advice was not heeded by Downing Street

Boris Johnson is at risk of placing the ministerial code in a place of “ridicule” over the Partygate scandal, according to his own ethics adviser.

In a scathing public rebuke, Christopher Geidt said there were “legitimate” questions over whether Mr Johnson had breached ministerial standards and made a veiled threat to quit if the PM said there was no case to answer.

Labour said the row showed that Mr Johnson’s “days are numbered” after he “tried to rig the rules and evade scrutiny”.

But the prime minister insisted he had not breached the code, and blamed a “failure of communication” for what Lord Geidt said was a repeated oversight to heed his advice.

The spat came as Mr Johnson rang potential rebels on the Conservative backbenches in a desperate bid to shore up his position ahead of a vote of no confidence in his leadership that many Tory MPs now expect to be called when parliament returns next week.

Downing Street declined to confirm reports that the PM is planning a relaunch in the final weeks of the parliamentary year, featuring a joint speech with chancellor Rishi Sunak on reforms to insurance rules to release billions of pounds for infrastructure investment. But a source did not deny he was calling backbench waverers, 说: “Obviously he speaks to MPs all the time.”

Former Conservative leader William Hague said the prime minister was in “real trouble” and the party was “moving faster” towards a leadership ballot, which will be triggered if the chair of the backbench 1922 调查人员希望这些记录能够揭示导致袭击美国国会大厦的时刻和决定, Sir Graham Brady, receives 54 letters from MPs.

But culture secretary Nadine Dorries on Thursday evening insisted Mr Johnson would win should Tory MPs submit enough letters to trigger a confidence vote.

她告诉天空新闻: “180 MPs are what would be needed to secure a vote of no confidence in the prime minister, that is never going to happen.”

早些时候, a former close ally of Mr Johnson, ex-cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, went public with concerns over “unacceptable failures of leadership which cannot be tolerated”.

A 17th Tory MP – Carlisle’s John Stevenson – also revealed he has submitted a letter of no confidence in the PM, declaring himself “deeply disappointed” at Mr Johnson’s response to revelations of lockdown parties at No 10.

He brought the number of MPs who have publicly called for Mr Johnson to go to 28, with others arguing privately for his removal.

同时, backbench critics of Mr Johnson told 独立 they were worried that the PM would narrowly win a confidence vote by securing the support of more than half of his MPs, and then trigger a potentially disastrous early general election in a bid to reassert control over his fractious party.

“The parliamentary party is split with one-third against, him one-third loyal and one-third up for grabs,” said one. “If he gets less than the 63 per cent which Theresa May got in 2018 he will be in real trouble, but I’ve no doubt he will try to cling on.

“I think he might try to manufacture an election because it would be the only way he could reassert his authority.

“He has so much self-belief and he thinks he has the country on his side, but I think the country would say ‘no thanks’ and he would be throwing the red wall MPs under the bus.”

Ms May’s former chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, 说: “马上, it feels like we are heading for a confidence vote at some point which he might narrowly win. If the PM seeks to carry on in those circumstances, as I suspect he would, that would be the worst outcome for the Conservative Party.”

One supporter of Mr Johnson, business minister George Freeman, admitted the PM was “in the thick of it” and said he did not know if he would survive a confidence vote.

In a letter to constituents, Ms Leadsom – who worked closely with Mr Johnson on his abortive bid to save disgraced MP Owen Paterson last year – said the Gray report had exposed “unacceptable failings of leadership that cannot be tolerated and are the responsibility of the prime minister”.

While she did not call for Mr Johnson’s resignation, Ms Leadsom said every Conservative “must now decide individually on what is the right course of action that will restore confidence in our government”.

Her intervention was regarded as significant and an indication of discontent spreading beyond Mr Johnson’s “One Nation” critics and MPs in marginal seats worried about his impact on their slim majorities.

One MP told 独立 that he knew of several MPs who have written to Sir Graham without revealing it publicly, 添加: “We must be close to 54 现在. I think Sir Graham may just be waiting for the jubilee weekend to be over to announce it.”

Mr Brady himself remained tight-lipped, telling reporters it was “not a regular pastime of mine” to add up letters.

Lord Hague said that last week’s Gray report into lockdown-breaching parties at No 10 had lit the touch-paper on a “slow fuse explosion”.

Mr Johnson was wrong to think he was safe just because the report did not trigger an immediate flood of letters,“ 他说.

“That’s actually not the mood in the Conservative Party which is very, very troubled about the contents of that report,” Lord Hague told Times Radio.

“I think they’re moving, either next week or around the end of June, they are moving towards having a ballot. It looks like that”.

Labour’s deputy leader 安吉拉·雷纳 said Mr Johnson was “reduced to desperately phoning around his mutinous MPs offering baubles in a doomed attempt to save his own skin”.

She also said that the rebuke from Lord Geidt was “the latest sign of the rampant sleaze engulfing Downing Street”.

In a preface to his delayed annual report on ministerial standards, the ethics adviser said that Mr Johnson had failed to heed advice repeatedly conveyed to No 10 that he should make a public statement on whether he had breached the ministerial code of conduct.

Failure to do so could put him in the position of having to advise the PM to launch an inquiry into himself and then resign when Mr Johnson refused to do so – which would put the code “in a place of ridicule”, said Lord Geidt.

But Mr Johnson responded that Lord Geidt had not raised the issue directly with him and blamed the situation on a “failure of communication between our offices”.

The PM insisted he had complied with the code’s requirements by correcting statements to parliament that were “made in good faith” but turned out not to be true. And he said he did not believe the £50 fixed penalty notice he received from the police amounted to a breach of the code.

Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain said: “This scathing criticism shows even Boris Johnson’s own ethics adviser no longer trusts him to tell the truth. He is not fit to hold public office.”