Sunday, January 16, 2022

Boris Johnson and Lord Geidt engage in a battle of wills

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nLet a good crisis fizzle out, as they say, and Lord (Christopher) Geidt, the independent standards consultant, is using what he calls the latest “episode” to a modest advantage over the renovation of the Johnson’s apartment.

Having been denied some of the relevant facts of this unfortunate, not to say Byzantine, affair, Geidt has already received a “humble and sincere” apology from Boris Johnson for his lack of support. How much value can be placed on it is questionable, but it is. Johnson has also promised to support Geidt with an increased secretariat and better access to officials, the least he could do as Johnson might have been deposed by Geidt resigned and caused a stink. The Prime Minister has also offered to “carefully consider” strengthening Geidt’s role, which is nice of him.

Now Geidt has written to the chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, William Wragg, expressing the hope for a real increase in power and undoubtedly asking for support. Somewhat haughty but understandably, Geidt says that “more important” than the Prime Minister’s formal apology for something like a devalued currency is the vague promise of more authority.

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