Labor MP Argues Why We Should Worry About PM Not Hiring A New Ethics Adviser

Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire wasted no time in tearing into Boris Johnson over reports that he might not hire a new ethics chief on BBC Question Time.

Her robust attack came after Lord Geidt suddenly quit earlier this week.

It was revealed in his resignation letter that he believed the prime minister had made a “mockery” of the ministerial code, proposed a “deliberate” breach of the rules which put Geidt in “an impossible and odious position”.

Geidt’s departure means Johnson has lost two ethics advisers in less than three years during his time in No.10.

Then, a spokesperson suggested the prime minister might not even hire a new ethics chief – a claim which sent alarm bells ringing among his critics.

Shadow leader of the Commons, Debbonaire, was quick to highlight this issue on Thursday night.

She told Question Time: “To lose one ethics adviser is careless, but to lose two smacks of something much more serious.

“It’s really problematic when an ethics adviser, who is clearly from the tone of his letter to the prime minister, been gritting his teeth for the last few months and hanging in there and trying to stick with it.”

Tory MP Matt Vickers then interjected that Geidt had been “trying to renew his contract” following claims that the ethics chief had to extend his tenure for another six months only this week, but Debbonaire ignored him.

She suggested that the “grilling” Geidt received from the parliamentary committee over the prime minister’s potential breach of the ministerial code throughout partygate might have been the last straw.

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