Department for Work and Pensions secretary, David Blunkett, has resigned from the Cabinet, telling Tony Blair that his position had become “untenable”.
His resignation comes weeks before the Pensions Commission is due to report on how to fill the UK’s massive occupational pensions deficit.
Harry Harpham, Blunkett’s constituency agent, said the MP “had been hounded out of office” by a combination of pressure from the Conservative party and the press.
Blunkett had been under increasing pressure to resign over allegations that he had broken the ministerial code of conduct after he took a two-week directorship of DNA Bioscience when not in the Cabinet.
Under parliamentary rules, he should have consulted an independent committee which advises former ministers on whether they should take up jobs.
Shadow Commons leader, Chris Grayling, said the resignation had been “inevitable”.
“I don’t believe that you can systematically ignore the ministerial code,” he told BBC News 24. “Joining a company for two weeks during the general election campaign and becoming a director – people don’t do that sort of thing.”