'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

17 June 2022, 11:16

By Tim Dodd

Nick Ferrari questions why Boris Johnson's ethics advisor Lord Geidt stepped down and got "uncomfortable" when he was asked "about the possibility of bending the rules" to help British steel.

Despite believing "by a very small margin" that it was possible to stay on in the role after Partygate, a separate issue relating steel import tariffs was the final straw for Lord Geidt.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson's advice request to Lord Geidt centred on a "critical national industry" that is at risk of "material harm" without action.

Asked if the request centred on Chinese steel tariffs, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said "I can't get into that", having cited "commercial sensitivity" of the matter.

Read more: PM's ethics chief quit after being put in 'odious' position on ministerial code

Lord Geidt announced his resignation in a statement on Wednesday evening, following controversy over whether the Prime Minister broke the ministerial code. 

Nick Ferrari said: "In reality, Lord Geidt had been asked for advice from Boris Johnson, about the possibility of bending the rules as near as you could to help British steel, as regards the steel industry, and steel exports, and steel imports.

"Yes - Boris Johnson had asked him 'How far can we go?'. Lord Geidt was made distinctly uncomfortable.

"What's the point of having advisors if you don't ask their advice? There's no point having the people!"

Nick asked if Lord Geidt's resignation could be linked to his appearance in front of a panel of MPs, where he "came across so badly that a Labour MP described him as a tin of whitewash, and The Guardian, 'the ultimate stooge'."

"So farewell Lord Geidt, how shall we remember you? Well, we'll struggle to remember your name next Wednesday I would think," Nick concluded.

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