British justice minister David Wolfson has handed in his resignation, after it emerged that the prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak received fixed penalty notices in relation to a Downing Street gathering during lockdown.
In a letter to Boris Johnson (pictured) quoted by the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, Lord Wolfson said: “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 while 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.”
The minister’s letter said that his concerns were not only related to what happened in Downing Street, but also the official response to what took place.
Wolfson, a barrister who specialises in commercial law, was appointed a justice minister in December 2020.
According to the Gazette, he was responsible for all departmental business in the House of Lords, and led on several areas – including human rights, civil legal aid, and mediation and dispute resolution.