Those that have fallen: ministerial exits 1997-2005

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Indy Politics

RON DAVIES: Quit over a sex scandal as Wales Secretary in October 1998 because of a "moment of madness" when he was robbed by a man he met on Clapham Common.

PETER MANDELSON: Resigned twice ­ first as Trade Secretary in December 1998 after failing to disclose he had received a £373,000 loan from Geoffrey Robinson to buy a house in London. He quit again as Northern Ireland Secretary in January 2001 following a controversy over the passport application of Indian billionaire Srichand Hinduja, but denied doing anything wrong. He was later cleared.

GEOFFREY ROBINSON: Paymaster General, resigned with Peter Mandelson in December 1998. He remains Labour MP for Coventry North West.

STEPHEN BYERS: Resigned in May 2002 as Transport Secretary after forcing Railtrack into receivership and in the aftermath of a debilitating row between his special adviser, Jo Moore, and Martin Sixsmith, his department's chief press officer. Ms Moore had told staff on 11 September 2001 that it was a good day to bury bad news.

ESTELLE MORRIS: Resigned in October 2002 as Education Secretary, admitting she was a failure as a cabinet minister. A former teacher, she said the job was too important to have "second best". She was brought back in June 2003 as Arts minister, but stepped down at the 2005 general election. Now a Labour peer.

ROBIN COOK: The former foreign secretary resigned as Leader of the House in March 2003 on the eve of the vote on the war in Iraq. On 6 August 2005, Cook died of a heart attack while climbing in Scotland, with his wife, Gaynor. He was 59.

CLARE SHORT: Resigned from the Cabinet as International Development Secretary over the Iraq war on 12 May 2003, saying Mr Blair had broken promises to her about the involvement of the UN in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. She remains the Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood.

ALAN MILBURN: Quit as Health Secretary in June 2003 to spend more time with his family. He said his career had to take second place to his two young sons and his partner, Ruth. He was brought back by Mr Blair as campaign co-ordinator for the 2005 election, but was eased out by the return of Gordon Brown. He remains Labour MP for Darlington.

BEVERLEY HUGHES: Resigned as Immigration Minister in April 2004 after admitting she had "unwittingly" misled people about a suspected visa scam. Ms Hughes had dismissed calls to resign, saying she had not known of the claims. But No 10 established she was warned about it a year earlier by the deputy chief whip, Bob Ainsworth.

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