The Yeo Resignation: Major's government haunted by misfortune: The Fallen

Click to follow
TIM YEO's resignation is the latest in a series of embarrassments for John Major's government, writes Martin Whitfield.

David Mellor, the former Secretary of State for National Heritage, was the cause of much discomfort in the shires as he struggled on in office for two months after news of his affair with Antonia de Sancha, an actress, was revealed.

Reports about 'toe jobs' and allegations that he made love in his Chelsea football strip gave the tabloid press a field day, but it was his decision to take a holiday with Mona Bauwens, daughter of the chairman of the Palestine National Fund, that finally led to his downfall. Mr Mellor made clear at the time that his affair was not reason enough to resign but admitted that he had begun to embarrass his party.

Norman Lamont, the former Chancellor, suffered a double dose of ill fortune in unwittingly letting his London home to a sex therapist - dubbed Miss Whiplash by the press - and then falling victim to a false accusation (with accompanying innuendo) that he had bought cheap champagne and cigarettes from a Paddington off-licence.

His resignation, however, came later, after months of speculation, and revolved around his official duties as Chancellor, not over details of his private life.

Michael Mates, another minister forced to resign, left after he admitted that publication of the representations he made to the Attorney General over the Asil Nadir affair had become 'embarrassing and damaging'.

The phrase 'Don't let the buggers get you down' on a watch given to the disgraced businessman came back to haunt him.

Steven Norris, the transport minister, has been another to embarrass the party, though he has survived the disclosure in October that he had indulged in five extra-marital affairs during his 24-year marriage.

His saving grace may be the fact that he was separated from his wife Vicky before reports of the affairs began to emerge.

Calls for his resignation remain low key.