Labour turmoil: Whelan's Statement of Resignation

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"Having returned from holiday and looked carefully at the press coverage of the last 10 days, I want to make it absolutely clear that I was not responsible for disclosing any information about Peter Mandelson's mortgage and I refute any suggestion that I was.

"I do, however, take the view that the job of press secretary becomes extremely difficult if the press secretary, and not the department he serves, becomes the story and the subject of excessive attention.

"It is absurd that, on the day the euro starts trading, in the week the Monetary Policy Committee is meeting and when the Chancellor is working on a number of important initiatives for the new year, that there is such attention focused on me.

"Therefore, as soon as an appropriate opportunity becomes available, I will move but, in the meantime, I will continue to do my job at the Treasury to the best of my ability, promoting the New Labour policies on which Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have worked so closely for so long."