Clarke and Prescott: Should they stay or should they go?

Senior cabinet figures on the brink after fresh revelations
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Indy Politics

SHOULD CLARKE RESIGN?

YES...

* He has failed first task of a Home Secretary: to protect the public.

* He was told foreign prisoners were being released without due deportation procedures in August, but did nothing.

* He misled the PM and the public by claiming "very, very few" foreign prisoners had been let out since August.

* Any offences committed by the 288 foreign nationals released since then are his responsibility. One foreign national who could have been deported on release went on to commit rape.

* Ministers should accept responsibility for their department's mistakes.

NO...

* This problem has been going on for years. At least he owned up to it.

* The mistakes have been made by immigration officers, not policy-makers.

* The Home Office is too big and disparate for one cabinet minister to manage.

* Clarke's job now is to solve the problem, not walk away.

* People calling for his resignation have not said who they think can better do the job of clearing up the problems.

SHOULD PRESCOTT RESIGN?

YES...

* He is a laughing stock after the series of tawdry revelations and demeaning pictures of an affair with his secretary.

* A man in his high position needs judgement and political awareness. He appears to have lost both.

* Voters cannot trust the word of a man who lies to his wife.

* When Tory politicians faced similar difficulties, Prescott delighted in ridiculing them.

* He is 67, so he will have to go soon anyway. What remains of his career will be nothing but humiliation.

NO...

* There is nothing to suggest that his affair with Tracey Temple affected his conduct as a minister.

* Blair and Brown want him to help supervise an orderly transfer of power.

* You should not sack people for having office affairs. If you do, this could cause problems in thousands of workplaces.

* John F Kennedy, H H Asquith, David Lloyd George and Bill Clinton were fine politicians who cheated on their wives. Stalin stayed faithful, but was a monster.

* Pauline Prescott has suffered enough. The last thing she needs is her husband hanging around at home all day after being forced out in humiliating circumstance.

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