Events that led to second resignation in a year

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Indy Politics

:: December 15, 2004: Mr Blunkett resigns as Home Secretary over the Kimberly Quinn affair.

He hands in his resignation when an inquiry finds that he gave a false account of his involvement in a visa application for his former lover Mrs Quinn's nanny.

Mr Blunkett says he sacrificed his political career to pursue his paternity claim against Mrs Quinn over her two-year-old child.

In emotional TV interviews, the former Home Secretary says of the boy: "He will want to know not just that his father actually cared enough about him to sacrifice his career, but he will want to know, I hope, that his mother has some regret."

:: April 21, 2005: The MP is appointed a director by DNA Bioscience and buys a £15,000 share in the firm.

:: May 6: Mr Blunkett returns to the Cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary in the post-election reshuffle after playing a prominent role in the campaign.

He resigns the directorship and places the shares in a trust for his sons.

:: September 11: Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens accuses Mr Blunkett of leaking stories against him while Home Secretary.

:: September 16: He denies abusing his former position as Education Secretary to find out whether his son was caught up in an A-Level marking fiasco.

:: September 24: News breaks of a relationship with blonde estate agent Sally Anderson, 29.

The pair reportedly met at West End nightclub Annabel's in June. A spokesman for Mr Blunkett insists it was purely "platonic".

:: September 25: Mr Blunkett shrugs off allegations of dishonesty from Lord Stevens and his biographer Stephen Pollard, saying: "I'm an honest man but I'm not a saint."

:: September 26: He threatens to go to the Press Complaints Commission over a new article on the relationship with Ms Anderson.

:: September 29: Ms Anderson speaks of her "lovely friendship" with the "deeply passionate" Cabinet minister.

:: October 2: Tariq Siddiqi, whose wife Lucy owns the DNA testing firm, is named as the man who introduced them.

It emerges Ms Anderson has consulted PR guru Max Clifford.

Her friends are quoted claiming the couple were "intimate" and he suggested having children just weeks after their first date but Ms Anderson is reportedly already seeing someone else.

:: October 8: Mr Blunkett admits failing to register his honorary membership of Mayfair nightclub Annabel's.

:: October 10: New TV channel More4 launches with a satire of the Kimberly Quinn affair titled A Very Social Secretary.

:: October 12: The Cabinet minister admits an "honest mistake" in using Commons paper to object to a housing development next to a home he rents out in south London.

:: October 16: Conservatives demand a probe over Mr Blunkett's links with DNA Biosciences after Ms Anderson raised questions about his links with the firm.

:: October 23: News emerges of Mr Blunkett's shares in the firm, worth an estimated £300,000 if the company floats, sparking calls for an independent inquiry.

:: October 30: It is revealed he did not consult the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before taking up the directorship.

The breach reportedly came only a month after he was reminded of the rules. A spokesman admitted: "With hindsight, it might have been better if he had written to the committee."

:: October 31: Tony Blair again insists Mr Blunkett has his confidence but takes advice on whether the Ministerial Code of Conduct was broken.

Mr Blunkett is seen going into Downing Street and later announces he has asked his sons to authorise trustees to "dispose of" the shares and they have agreed.

There had been no conflict of interest, he said, and Prime Minister's spokesman declares: "The Prime Minister believes no further action is needed and the matter is closed."

The Tories and the Liberal Democrats make clear they are not prepared to let the beleaguered minister out of their sights.

:: November 1: The Times alleges that Mr Blunkett was told in three separate letters that the Ministerial Code of Conduct required him to consult the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ABCA).

The chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Sir Alistair Graham, says Mr Blunkett "undoubtedly" committed a breach in the Ministerial Code of Conduct in failing to consult ACBA over two earlier appointments.

Senior Labour backbencher Ian Gibson publicly calls for him to consider resigning.

Mr Blunkett declares that he will not allow his critics to drive him out of office.

He tells the Sheffield Star: "The pressure is not continuing. The Prime Minister has made his decision and no matter what the Conservative Party want, I am not resigning."

:: November 2. Mr Blunkett's expected public appearance before the Work and Pensions Committee MPs is delayed for half an hour.

Shortly afterwards he is seen going into Downing Street.

Blunkett's appearance before the Work and Pensions Committee is then cancelled, causing feverish speculation that he has resigned.

Labour MP Terry Rooney, tells the Press Association: "There will be a statement from No 10 - you can work out what that means."

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