The European Commission has been forced into an unexpected reshuffle.
"Last night Phil Hogan submitted his resignation from the post as Trade Commissioner. I respect this.”
Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on Thursday (August 27) confirming that the body’s trade chief had quit.
Phil Hogan faced allegations that he breached virus safety guidelines on a trip back to Ireland.
He allegedly failed to observe quarantine rules for travellers entering Ireland, including by attending a golf club dinner when he should have been self-isolating.
In a resignation statement he said the controversy had become a distraction from his work.
Now Von der Leyen has asked Latvia’s Valdis Dombrovskis to take temporary charge of trade, until Ireland can find a suitable replacement.
And she had words of warning for Commission colleagues:
"I expect the members of the College to be particularly vigilant about compliance with applicable national or regional rules or recommendations.”
Now dubbed 'golfgate', it all marks a sudden fall from grace for Hogan.
Only weeks ago, he was talked about as a candidate to lead the World Trade Organization.
Now his departure leaves a hole for the Commission too.
Hogan was seen to have been making progress in fraught trade talks with the U.S.