UK - Work and pensions secretary David Blunkett (pictured) has today resigned following a spate of criticism over his share holdings in DNA Bioscience.
Blunkett conceded that he was at fault, and that he had broken the Ministerial Code of Conduct, but added he was only guilty of making a mistake and “paying the price for it.”
Shadow leader of the House Chris Grayling said Blunkett had done the right thing: “I am sorry that his career has ended in this way, but at the end of the day he has always said that he expects to be treated in exactly the same way as any other minister. And what we, as Opposition politicians have done, is ask the same questions we would have asked of anyone. It is important the rules are upheld, otherwise there is no point in having them.”
The furore surrounding Blunkett arose after the former work and pensions secretary retained shares in DNA Bioscience and subsequently taking up a directorship at the genetic testing firm upon returning to cabinet.
Ray Young, CEO of 3Q Solutions, said Blunkett's resignation could not have happened at a more critical moment, with the former work and pensions secretary due to give a speech today on welfare reform, and address the public's concerns over state pensions.
“All eyes are now turned to who Blair will appoint next,” he said. “The new Cabinet minister should use this opportunity to instil faith back into pensions. Rather than just treading water, the government needs to take real action to resolve the savings deficit in the UK. If any sort of impact is to be made on the pensions crisis, the government has to pull its head out of the sand, take the reigns and guide the public to plan more effectively for the future.”
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