BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 24 January, 2001, 17:23 GMT
Mandelson: Countdown to quitting
The events that led to Peter Mandelson's second resignation from the cabinet can be traced back to 1998.


The Background

1990: Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja apply for UK passports but are refused.

February 1997: The Hinduja brothers express an interest in contributing towards the costs of the Millennium Dome.

March 1997: Gopichand Hinduja reapplies for a UK passport.

May 1997: Peter Mandelson is given responsibility for the Dome.

November 1997: Gopichand is granted a UK passport

February 1998: Srichand Hinduja applies for British passport.

The Hinduja Foundation makes a verbal offer to the New Millennium Experience Company to underwrite the entire cost of the Spirit Zone (later renamed Faith Zone).

June 1998: Mr Mandelson asks Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien whether an passport application from Srichand Hinduja would be reconsidered following a change in government policy.

October 1998: Srichand Hinduja applies for British passport again.

March 1999: Srichand Hinduja receives British passport.

June 1999: Final donors to the Faith Zone are announced - 2m from the Laing family trusts, 1m from the Hinduja Foundation, 1m from other Christian trusts.

May 2000: Gopichand Hinduja writes to Mr Mandelson with an inquiry about a possible passport application from a third brother, Prakash, which Mr Mandelson again passes to the Home Office without endorsement.

19 January 2001: The Hinduja brothers appear in court in India in connection with a major arms scandal dating back to 1986. They are bailed.


Countdown to resignation

Friday 19 January 2001: Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker passes a Commons written answer to The Observer newspaper which states that Peter Mandelson "made inquiries" about how a passport application by Srichand might be viewed.

Saturday 20 January: In response to enquiries from The Observer Mr Mandelson says: "This matter was dealt with by my private secretary ... I did not support or endorse this application for citizenship."

Sunday 21 January: The Observer publishes its story and as pressure mounts on the NI Secretary the Northern Ireland Office defends its leader, saying: "Mr Mandelson did not assist in this passport application".

Monday 22 January: The prime minister's official spokesman insists Mr Mandelson did nothing wrong.

He says Mr Mandelson was asked by the Hindujas to endorse the application but refused and "perfectly properly" passed it to the Home Office.

Culture Secretary Chris Smith defends Mr Mandelson saying: "He had no involvement in endorsing or supporting the application at any stage."

Tuesday 23 January: Mr Mandelson says he remembers making a two-minute call to Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien and that it was "an innocent inquiry". He says he is not guilty of any wrong-doing.

The prime minister's official spokesman tells reporters that Mr Mandelson phoned Mr O'Brien to inquire if Srichand's passport application would be re-considered.

The official spokesman concedes that some previous statements made on the issue were "plainly not true".

Wednesday 24 January: Mr Mandelson is summoned to Downing Street by Prime Minister Tony Blair to "establish the facts" concerning the passport affair.

Mr Mandelson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street at 1330 GMT announcing his resignation from the cabinet for the second time.

Peter Mandelson is at the centre of a row over passport applications

Key stories

Background

Analysis

VIDEO

TALKING POINT

FORUM
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes