Lord geidt

Who monitors the moralists?

If anyone was suitable to be the Prime Minister’s adviser on ministerial interests, it was Lord Geidt. Self-effacing, professional, unself-righteous but thoroughly proper, he could be relied on to do his job without an eye to attracting headlines, gaining Remainer revenge and similar modern temptations to which some officials succumb. Yet last week he resigned. It seems a good moment to ask whether the job is doable. Many will say that it isn’t, and blame Boris Johnson. It is undoubtedly true that any system based on rules comes under strain when confronted with Boris’s work methods. Last week, a horse called Etonian ran at Ascot. A newspaper reported that he

Portrait of the week: Rail strikes, rates rise and a record-breaking stingray

Home A rail strike on three alternate days, bringing the system to a standstill for a week, was organised by the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union. On the first day, the London Underground came out too. Tram drivers in south London arranged a strike of their own. Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, instructed his frontbenchers not to join strikers’ picket lines, but some did. EasyJet announced plans to cut 7 per cent of its 160,000 flights scheduled between July and September after Gatwick, easyJet’s main airport, said it would reduce the number of flights taking off. Flights carrying up to 5,000 passengers were cancelled at Heathrow airport on

Carry on Carrie: Day IV

It’s a tribute to the geniuses within Downing Street that they’ve managed to take a three-month-old story about a four-year-old incident and make it one of the most-discussed issues in British politics. The story is, of course, a report by the Times that Boris Johnson tried to appoint his then-lover Carrie Symonds as his chief-of-staff at the Foreign Office in 2018. It follows up similar claims made by Lord Ashcroft in his biography of the PM’s wife. The story was mysteriously removed from later editions of the the Times newspaper on Saturday, as well as being absent from its website. Following an intense backlash, No. 10 yesterday said in a

Fact check: Boris Johnson’s wallpaper claims

For Boris Johnson, every day seems like a season finale. Just this morning the Prime Minister has been pilloried with questions about parties, seen his wife Carrie give birth for the second time and landed Tory members with a £17,800 fine for his Downing Street flat renovation. The Electoral Commission concluded its eight month probe into how the refurbishment was financed by accusing the Conservative Party of failing to ‘keep a proper accounting record’ around the £52,000 donation from Lord Brownlow to pay for the work. A Tory spokesman has said the party is considering whether to appeal and will make a decision within 28 days. Even if his party decides not to appeal,