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The Independent Online
THE so-called gutter press claimed a new victim on Wednesday in its self-appointed role as champion of the 'family values' of right-thinking British society. After three days of pitched battle for his political survival, Tim Yeo, Minister of State for the Environment, was forced to throw in the sponge and offer his resignation to the Prime Minister, who accepted. Everything happened according to the book, following the well-established tradition that ministers taken in adultery, and unable to escape the coils of the popular press, must be sacrificed on the altar of the Government's reputation. . .

There was talk of 'tragedy'. One might have called it bad luck. A few months ago, Steven Norris, Minister of State for Transport, survived revelations about his extra-marital exploits. But Norris's 'sex scandal' broke during the Conservative Party conference when there were other cats to flog. For Tim Yeo, the context was different: the Government's priority is now a programme of returning to 'family values', with the emphasis on traditional education and discipline, and making an example of single mothers.

'Le Monde', French daily

IT DOESN'T look good to have an illegitimate child while you belong to a government which backs 'the return to family values' . . . Tim Yeo re-launched in one week all the debate on the relation between public and private lives of politicians in Britain. One of his faults was to allow his liaison to become public while John Major's team has made the united family one of its favourite slogans.

'Liberation', French daily

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