Lord Grimstone, the City grandee who was parachuted into government by Boris Johnson to boost Britain’s record on foreign direct investment, has quit to return to the private sector.

Sky News has learned that the former Standard Life chairman wrote to the outgoing prime minister on Thursday to tender his resignation.

A Downing Street source said that Lord Grimstone, a close ally of Mr Johnson’s, had decided that the PM’s enforced departure left him with little choice but to step down.

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Lord Grimstone’s departure is an anomaly in this week’s tsunami of ministerial resignations in that he was quitting because Mr Johnson had decided to leave Number 10 rather than because he was fighting to remain in his post.

Since being appointed to a joint role at the Department for Business and Department for International Trade in March 2020, Lord Grimstone has overseen a shake-up in the government’s efforts to draw investment from overseas.

His close ties to the Middle East paved the way for a series of sovereign investment partnerships with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with state investment funds pledging billions of pounds to invest in the UK.

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He was also the architect of the new Office for Investment, which was established to coordinate negotiations with major foreign investors more effectively.

Last year, I chaired over arrangements for the Global Investment Summit, which drew prominent financiers from around the world and promises of substantial future funds to deploy in Britain.

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In total, one City ally said, Lord Grimstone had been responsible for securing more than £50bn of new overseas investment into the UK.

A former deputy chairman of Barclays, Lord Grimstone is expected to be courted by large listed and private companies, although he is likely to have to serve a period of purdah because of his stint in government.

Lord Grimstone could not be reached for comment, while a DIT spokesperson has been contacted for comment.

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