Why Do Ministers Resign? Essay

832 Words4 Pages
Whilst the appointment of cabinet ministers is left solely to the Prime Minister to decide, their leaving can occur for a variety of reasons, in which the Prime Minister may play no part. Some may find the difficulties of working under pressure and sustaining a level of quality for their department too taxing, whilst others might have secrets of their private lies revealed to the public. Individual ministerial responsibility used to be an important factor in the resignation of a minster.This dictates that should their department make a serious error and reveal incompetence of that department, then the minister in charge should be accountable to these mistakes and take the blame publicly be resigning. Foreign Secretary of 1982, Lord Carrington resigned over the invasion of the Falkland Islands, saying he was “responsible for the conduct of that policy” which was a “humiliating affront to this country”. He in fact also admitted that much of the criticisms had been unfounded, but the importance of individual ministerial responsibility at that time made his resignation almost inevitable. In contrast, in more recent years this has become less important in the reasons for a ministers resignation. In 2007, the failure to deliver SATS test results fell on the department for education, the minister of which was Ed Balls. However, despite the apparent incompetence, in the department’s inability to return the results, Ed Balls clearly did not feel accountable to the whole issue, and did not resign. Nevertheless, media pressure and personal revelations have become much more apparent in politics in recent years. The burgeoning state of the media and internet makes the ability to acquire personal information much easier, and has put obvious pressures on a number of ministers. Most recently, in May 2010, David Laws, Chief Secretary to the Treasury for the newly
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