The Prime Minister’s former anti-corruption chief has warned against scrapping the role of ethics adviser following the shock resignation of Lord Geidt.
John Penrose made his comments after Downing Street hinted yesterday that the government could get rid o the position altogether, launching a review.
Speaking to the BBC, Penrose, who left the job earlier this month and called for Boris Johnson to quit over Partygate, said removing it would be “potentially quite a big mistake”.
“You can obviously change the role a bit but you shouldn’t be weakening the role if you are going to come up with a revised version as a successor to Lord Geidt, some new format, some new way of dealing with the issue”.
This comes after Lord Christopher Geidt quit his position as ethics adviser on Wednesday night, in a scalding resignation letter accusing the Prime Minister of “making a mockery” of the ministerial code.
It emerged last night that he resigned after being asked to approve tariffs on steel which the government itself acknowledges would break part of a World Trade Organisation treaty.
In his resignation letter, he said he 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,” leaving him in an “impossible and odious position.”