4 major cabinet resignations from the Blair-Brown era

David Blunkett - M4 business breakfast

If the last two weeks are anything to go by, government cabinet resignations are becoming a weekly occurrence.

1. Stephen Byers

One big resignation at the start of Blair’s second term in power was the departure of Stephen Byers - the then Transport Secretary. According to the BBC, he had been floundering in the political waters following months of being called on to step down over his continued support for a spin doctor who had sent an email saying 9/11 was an opportunity to "bury bad news."

2. Estelle Morris

In late 2002, New Labour’s Education and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris stepped down from her government position. She had only been in the role since Blair’s post-2001 election reshuffle, and had been promoted from her position as a Schools Minister. According to the BBC, her reason for leaving was that she felt she was not right for the position and was more effective in her previous ministerial role.

Prime Minister Tony Blair Side Angle

3. David Blunkett

Just months ahead of Tony Blair’s third election victory, his Home Secretary David Blunkett quit the cabinet and was replaced by Charles Clarke. The Telegraph reported at the time that he stepped down following accusations that he had sped up a nanny’s official visa application.

Rt Hon David Blunkett MP speaking at Policy Exchange on Where Next for Welfare?

4. David Blunkett (again)

Following the nanny scandal, Blunkett spent some time on the back-benches, but was soon back – this time as the country’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. However, his time in that job did not last long. Just months after the 2005 election, Blunkett stepped down after revelations that he had not shared information with the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about non-parliamentary jobs he had taken up before starting his newest cabinet post, as reported by the Guardian.