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Analyse the circumstances in which ministers resign

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Analyse the circumstances in which ministers resign Abbas Ameli The scene of UK politics has been witness to many ministerial resignations in recent decades, some more controversial than others, some more sought than others, and some more high profile than others. Whilst some resignations such as that of Estelle Morris's seem to have been the minister's own preference, many other ministers have practically been forced to resign under conventions of ministerial responsibility. One of these conventions states that ministers whose departments are seen as incompetent and commit serious errors and/or if the individual minister is proven to have committed unacceptable acts should resign. ...read more.


Robin Cook and Claire Short resigned in 2003 from cabinet in oppose to the government's decision to go to Iraq. In a statement giving his reasons for resigning Robin Cook said, "I can't accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support." Although neither of these conventions is legally binding, they are not usually violated and most ministers abide by these conventions. There have however, been circumstances in which a minister has refused to resign. Steven Byers is an example who despite pressures to resign over departmental misconduct refused to do so. ...read more.


Ministerial conventions are not the only reasons for which ministers resign. As already mentioned, some like Estelle Morris see themselves unfit to run a govt department. Although Alistair Campbell was not a cabinet minister, his example can be seen for politicians holding ministerial positions as well. Alistair Campbell, the famous 'spin doctor' resigned from his position as Tony Blair's media chief in 2003, claiming that his family suffer as a result of his job. The provided examples show that resignations are not always made because of the ministerial conventions, but often because of personal issues. There is however, a case which argues even circumstances in which ministers resign using the excuse of personal issues it is done only to cover controversies. Campbell's resignation for example, came only days after the Hutton inquiry into the Iraq war. ...read more.

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