Monday, May 01, 2006

Did Clarke Offer to Resign or Not?

According to The Sun this morning Charles Clarke didn't actually offer his resignation to Tony Blair after all, and that Blair was incandescent when he found out that Clarke had said this in a BBC interview. So what's the truth of this? Can anyone shed any light?


Bel said...

If this is true, then Blair would have lied to Parliament when he confirmed during PMQs that Clarke had offered to resign.

dizzy said...

I've just re-read Hansard and Blair doesn't confirm or deny the offer of the resignation, he ignores that part of the question really.

Bel said...

He was asked whether he knew, at the time Clarke offered his resignation, about the 288 foreign criminals, and his reply indicated that he did not know the exact figures at the time.

This would indicate that there was a resignation offer.

Anonymous said...

Check this piece about Clarke in The Times last May. And then read Bruce Anderson's latest piece in Monday's Indy.

The Times, 29 May 2005

ALMOST SIX months since he was appointed Home Secretary after David Blunkett's abrupt departure, Charles Clarke has only recently accepted close protection, Mandrake hears.

"A lot of ministers who come to the Home Office are taken aback by the level of security that their job entails and Charles was no exception," says my man in Whitehall. "He resisted at first, but has now reconciled himself to it. He now has the protection that is normal for a home secretary."

Although Clarke once jokingly told a journalist from The Times that he would like to put his attractive, blonde assistant, Hannah Pawlby, "up against a wall in a dark corridor", it is hard to see why this apparently happily-married politician would be so uncomfortable about having his every movement watched by Special Branch detectives.

Discretion is in any case a part of the job: obviously Lord Stevens, when he was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, was aware of David Blunkett's affair with Kimberly Quinn long before it became public knowledge, although - true professionals that he and his detectives were - their lips were sealed.