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Jersey's man in Government quits over PM's handling of lockdown parties

Jersey's man in Government quits over PM's handling of lockdown parties

Thursday 14 April 2022

Jersey's man in Government quits over PM's handling of lockdown parties

Thursday 14 April 2022


The UK Minister with primary responsibility for the Channel Islands has walked out of Boris Johnson's Government.

Lord Wolfson resigned over the Prime Minister's handling of parties held at Number 10 while the country was under strict covid restrictions.

He left the Government 24 hours after it was revealed that the Prime Minister, his Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and Mr Johnson's wife, Carrie, had been fined for breaking lockdown laws when they attended a birthday gathering in Number 10 in June 2020.

Lord Wolfson has served as a Justice Minister since December 2020. Senior politicians in Guernsey and Jersey have spoken warmly of their good working relationship with him and of his diligence dealing with Bailiwick issues.

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said: “It is very disappointing for us; not only did Lord Wolfson make an official visit to the island last year but he was also always available to speak with, and I could see him when I was in London.

“He was very supportive through Covid and he also unblocked issues during the fishing dispute, for us and the other Crown Dependencies.”

Senator Gorst added that it was likely a ministerial colleague in the Ministry of Justice would fill in for Lord Wolfson while the Prime Minister found a replacement.

Guernsey Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, who leads on external relations for the Policy and Resources Committee, told Express last night that he was "disheartened" by Lord Wolfson's resignation.

Lord Wolfson's resignation letter was highly critical of the Prime Minister's conduct.

He wrote: "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."

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Pictured: Senator Ian Gorst and other senior politicians locally will soon be working with another UK Minister after Lord Wolfson's resignation.

He continued: "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."

Lord Wolfson, a barrister by profession, listed various Acts and reviews with which he was involved in Government and assured the Prime Minister of his continued support for justice reforms they were working on together.

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Pictured: Boris Johnson is the first serving UK Prime Minister to be sanctioned for an offence under criminal law.

But he added: "We can only undertake these and other legal reforms at home - and also credibly defend democratic norms abroad, especially at a time of war in Europe - if we are, and are seen to be, resolutely committed both to the observance of the law and also to the rule of law.

"I have concluded that, consistently with both my ministerial and professional obligations to support and uphold the rule of law, I have no option other than to tender my resignation."

READ MORE...

Guernsey's external relations lead "disheartened" as UK Minister quits 

Ministry of Justice lays down the gauntlet to Sark

UK Minister gives strong support to Jersey over fishing row

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Posted by Michael Du Pré on
Bravo David Wolfson!
It is sad that you appear to be the only Conservative with integrity.
Posted by Michael Du Pré on
Bravo David Wolfson!
It is sad that you appear to be the only Conservative with integrity.
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