The attorney general, Suella Braverman, is facing calls to resign after she joined the chorus of Downing Street loyalists defending Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham during lockdown.
Lawyers expressed astonishment that Braverman should have joined in what opponents described as an orchestrated political action. Her intervention, it is alleged, undermines the independence of her office as the government’s chief legal adviser and puts her in an impossible position in relation to any subsequent police inquiry.
The calls follow Braverman’s tweet on Saturday in which she quoted the full text of the No 10 statement on Boris Johnson’s chief aide in which the prime minister said he had behaved responsibly and legally.
She added: Braverman was one of small number of senior cabinet members, all close political allies of Boris Johnson, who retweeted the statement.
Philippe Sands QC, a professor of international law at University College London, said: The absolute integrity of an attorney general is the prerequisite for a functioning democracy. When doubt is cast over the integrity of an attorney general, that person has to go.
She must have known that the possibility could not be excluded that the Durham police would have been involved. She has completely extinguished with a single tweet her integrity.