Boris Johnson's anti-corruption tsar John Penrose resigns and calls for PM to quit

John Penrose has claimed it is "pretty clear" that Boris Johnson broke the Ministerial Code
John Penrose has claimed it is "pretty clear" that Boris Johnson broke the Ministerial Code Credit: PA

The Prime Minister’s anti-corruption tsar has resigned, claiming it is “pretty clear” that Boris Johnson broke the Ministerial Code.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, John Penrose accused the Prime Minister of breaching the code on the grounds that he had failed to provide adequate leadership over partygate.

The Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset said: “The only fair conclusion to draw from the Sue Gray report is that you have breached a fundamental principle of the Ministerial Code – a clear resigning matter.

“But your letter to your independent adviser on the Ministerial Code ignores this absolutely central, non-negotiable issue completely. And, if it had addressed it, it is hard to see how it could have reached any other conclusion than that you had broken the code.”

He added: “As a result, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be honourable or right for me to remain as your anti-corruption champion after reaching this conclusion, nor for you to remain as Prime Minister either.

“I hope you will stand aside so we can look to the future and choose your successor.”

Boris Johnson will face a vote of no confidence tonight after more than 54 MPs submitted no confidence letters. It would require 180 of them to vote against the prime minister in order to oust him.

The PM apologised and paid a £50 fine for breaking Covid regulations after he attended a birthday party for him at Downing Street.

Sue Gray - the civil servant who investigated Downing Street's numerous lockdown parties - condemned a "failure of leadership" under the PM's watch.

"That’s a resigning matter for me, and it should be for the PM too. Here’s my letter to him explaining why," Mr Penrose said.