Lord Grimstone, the City magnate who was parachuted into government by Boris Johnson to boost Britain’s record for foreign direct investment, has quit to return to the private sector.
Sky News has learned that the former chairman of Standard Life wrote to the outgoing prime minister on Thursday asking for his resignation.
A Downing Street source said Lord Grimstone, a close Johnson ally, had decided that Forced departure of the Prime Minister he had no choice but to resign.
Lord Grimstone’s departure is an anomaly in this week’s tsunami of ministerial resignations, as he left because Johnson decided to leave No 10, not because he was fighting to stay in his post.
Since his appointment to a joint role at the Department for Business and the Department for International Trade in March 2020, Lord Grimstone has overseen a change in the Government’s efforts to attract investment from abroad.
Its close ties to the Middle East have paved the way for a series of sovereign investment partnerships with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with sovereign wealth funds pledging billions of pounds to invest in the UK.
He was also the architect of the new investment office, which was created to more effectively coordinate negotiations with major foreign investors.
Last year, he led the preparations for the Global Investment Summit, which attracted high-profile financiers from around the world and promised significant financial resources to locate in Britain.
Overall, one City ally said, Lord Grimstone was responsible for attracting more than £50bn of new foreign investment to the UK.
Lord Grimstone, a former deputy chairman of Barclays, is expected to court major listed and private companies, although he is likely to have to serve a period in prison for his time in government.
Lord Grimstone could not be reached for comment, while a DIT spokesperson was contacted for comment.