Lord Wolfson: Conservative peer quits as justice minister over ‘scale’ of COVID breaches in Downing Street

Conservative peer David Wolfson has resigned as justice minister over the “scale, context and nature” of the breaches of COVID regulations at Downing Street.

Lord Wolfson said in a letter to Boris Johnson that he was resigning not only because of the events themselves, or the prime minister’s “own conduct”, but also because of “the official response to what happened”.

He said: “I regret that the recent revelations lead to the unavoidable conclusion that there were repeated rule-breakings and criminal law breaches at Downing Street.

“I have come to the conclusion, again, with considerable regret, that the scale, context and nature of those violations mean that it would be inconsistent with the rule of law for such conduct to happen with constitutional impunity.”

Lord Wolfson has been justice minister since December 2020. He was responsible for human rights and the constitution.

It comes after Mr. Johnson, his wife Carrie and Foreign Minister Rishi Sunak fines paid for attending a birthday party held for the prime minister in the cabinet room at number 10 in June 2020.

Neither Mr Johnson nor Mr Sunak indicated that he would resign due to his fines.

Reacting to the news, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Defense Select Committee, told Sky News: “That’s why I want the prime minister to step up with his plan to acknowledge the scale of the challenge we face, the fact that trust has been eroded, otherwise we’re going to get this trickle-feed effect of people who don’t want to stand on the sidelines anymore.

“Let’s have the opportunity in the near future where everyone can make their mark and decide one way or another if we support the prime minister for the next general election or if it’s time for a change.”

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Tobias Ellwood says ‘trust has eroded’

Labor MP Jess Phillips said: “It seems very clear that he cannot square, as a lawyer and someone who works on the justice team, a breach of justice in our country and a breach of the rule of law by continuing to serve under Boris Johnson. “. and I’m not surprised.

“It must be incredibly challenging for anyone to be behind the fines and lawlessness that the PM has undertaken, but for someone who will have to profess the rule of law in a court of law, I think it seems completely impossible.”

Tory MP becomes first MP to ask Johnson to resign

Earlier on Wednesday, Conservative MP Nigel Mills became the first MP to call for Mr. Johnson to resign after he was fined.

Read more:
Partygate: what happens now?

Johnson may have weathered the storm for now, but the worst could be yet to come.

Mills, who earlier said the prime minister should speak out about the scandal, underscored his view that Johnson’s position was untenable.

Several Conservatives who previously said they had lost confidence in the prime minister over the Downing Street party revelations have since rallied around their leader, saying he should stay, at least for now, as the war in Ukraine continues.

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