Conservative peer David Wolfson has quit as justice minister after Boris Johnson was fined over a party in Downing Street that breached coronavirus rules. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Lord Wolfson said he was resigning over the “scale, context and nature” of breaches of Covid regulations in Downing Street, adding it was a matter of Mr Johnson’s “own conduct” as well as the actual events.
Lord Wolfson said the “repeated rule-breaking, and breaches of the criminal law” in No 10 had caused him to submit his resignation as justice minister. In his letter to Mr Johnson, the Conservative peer 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. 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.”
It comes after Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak paid fines relating to a birthday party held for the PM in the Cabinet room in No 10 in June 2020. However, neither politician indicated they would consider resigning over the finding by the Metropolitan Police, instead saying they wanted to get on with the job.