David Wolfson: why did he quit as justice minister - what did he say about Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak?
The Prime Minister and the Chancellor were both fined for attending a gathering during strict Covid restrictions
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Tory peer David Wolfson has resigned as justive minister after Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were fined for their part in the Partygate scandal.
The politician made the announcement on social media, sharing a letter in which he resigned from his post due to “repeated rule-breaking” by the government while Covid restrictions were in place.
It comes after political and public fury over fixed penalty notices, with calls for the Prime Minister’s and Chancellor’s resignations.
However, both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak have so far stood firm in their position, offering an apology and confirming that they have paid the fine.
What did David Wolfson say?
In his resignation letter, Lord Wolfson spoke of his “regret” over the scandal which had implicated his colleagues and his higher-ups.
He said: “Justice may often be a matter of courts and procedure, but the rule of law is something else – a constitutional principle which, at its root, means that everyone in a state, and indeed the state itself, is subject to the law.
“I regret that recent disclosures lead to the inevitable conclusion that there was repeated rule-breaking, and breaches of the criminal law, in Downing Street.”
He then went onto tendor his resignation as justice minister, adding: “I have – again, with considerable regret – come to the conclusion that the scale, context and nature of those breaches mean that it would be inconsistent with the rule of law for that conduct to pass with constitutional impunity, especially when many in society complied with the rules at great personal cost, and others were fined or prosecuted for similar, and sometimes apparently more trivial, offences.
“It is not just a question of what happened in Downing Street, or your own conduct. It is also, and perhaps more so, the official response to what took place.
“As we obviously do not share that view of these matters, I must ask you to accept my resignation.”
Has anyone else resigned over the Partygate scandal?
Nobody else has resigned from the government over the scandal.
Most Tory MPs have supported Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak in their position since the fines were issues.
However, there have been those who have spoken out against the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.
Along with Lord Wolfson, Nigel Mills is believed to be the first Tory backbencher to call for Mr Johnson’s resignation.
The Amber Valley MP said: “I think for a prime minister in office to be given a fine and accept it and pay it for breaking the laws that he introduced… is just an impossible position.
“We’ve every right to expect higher standards of people making these laws… so the idea that he can survive having broken one and accepted he’s broken (it), I just think is impossible.”
However, he added that he did not expect the Prime Minister to resign or for his fellow MPs to force a vote of no confidence.
Mr Mills said: “There’s almost zero chance that a motion of confidence in the House of Commons would be lost. So we can all send our letters to Sir Graham Brady… to be honest though, I’d be very surprised if he either resigns or there’s 180 of us that want rid of him.
“So I think he will carry on for now.”