Blunkett: The financial impact

The biggest financial impact of resigning is the drop in salary from £130,347 - for his cabinet minister post - to the £59,095 he receives as a backbench MP. A payment of £18,700 given to ministers who quit will help his cash flow, although he is likely to come under pressure from opposition MPs to turn down the money. He was criticised for accepting a similar amount when he resigned as Home Secretary last December and keeping the money when he was moved back into the Cabinet five months later. The Tories are also likely to demand that he moves out of his grace-and-favour residence in Belgravia, where he has lived since 2001.

But by stepping down he does not need to sell the £15,000 shareholding in DNA Bioscience. The value of this holding could soar to £300,000 if the company is floated on the stock market.