Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said voters do not “give a fig” about the resignation of Boris Johnson’s independent ethics adviser, Lord Geidt.
During a LBC radio phone-in, Ms Dorries mocked the peer, calling him “Lord Geddit”, saying people had been baffled by his resignation and that he had constantly complained about the amount of work he had to do.
Lord Geidt stood down last week saying the Prime Minister had put him in an “impossible and odious position” when he asked for his advice on maintaining tariffs on Chinese steel in a deliberate breach of the UK’s obligations in international law.
He had previously made clear his “frustration” at Mr Johnson’s response to being fined by police for a breach of Covid rules when he attended a gathering in No 10 to mark his 56th birthday.
Asked who should replace him, Ms Dorries said: “You call him Lord Geidt. I think the rest of the country had never even heard of him before and called him Lord Geddit.
“I don’t think they give a fig who replaces him or who he was or what he did. It’s a bit of a bizarre one isn’t it? Someone who wasn’t elected who has resigned.
“Everybody thought for 24 hours that he was going to resign over something that was going to compromise the Prime Minister, was suddenly blindsided by the fact that it was something to do with steel tariffs.”
The Prime Minister has so far failed to commit to appointing a successor.
Downing Street has accepted Lord Geidt fulfilled a “vitally important” function advising on the ministerial code of conduct but said Mr Johnson was reviewing the position and could abolish it.
Ms Dorries said that if a successor was appointed, she did not think it should be just one individual.
“Lord Geddit, Lord Geidt, sorry, he complained so often about the amount of work that he had to do that I don’t think that one person can probably do the job.”
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