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Wednesday, 24 January, 2001, 16:34 GMT
Peter Mandelson's first resignation
Peter Mandelson
Then, as now, he denied any wrong-doing
Peter Mandelson has resigned from the cabinet for the second time in as many years. This is what happened the first time around.

Mr Mandelson resigned as Trade and Industry Secretary in December 1998 after revelations about an undisclosed home loan from Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson.

Under Mr Mandelson's watch, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had been examining Mr Robinson's business interests.

When the news of the 373,000 home loan first came to light, Mr Mandelson denied any wrongdoing. Three days later, he resigned.

The scandal also saw Mr Robinson quit his post.

Monday 21 December, 1998

9.30pm Mr Mandelson denies any conflict of interest in accepting the loan from the millionaire minister while the pair were in opposition.


I do not believe that accepting a loan from a friend and fellow MP was wrong

Peter Mandelson, day one
He says: "I do not believe that accepting a loan from a friend and fellow MP was wrong."

He insists there is no reason for him to resign.

Downing Street issues a statement, in which Tony Blair says he is confident Mr Mandelson is "properly insulated" from any decision by DTI officials regarding Mr Robinson's business arrangements.

Tuesday 22 December

8am During an all-day media offensive, Mr Mandelson strongly defends his position. The loan, he says, was a "personal arrangement made by two friends and colleagues".


I have insulated myself from any contact with or involvement in Geoffrey Robinson's affairs at the DTI

Peter Mandelson, day two
He says: "I have insulated myself from any contact with or involvement in Geoffrey Robinson's affairs at the Department of Trade and Industry and that has been acknowledged by my officials.

"I did not receive anything from Geoffrey Robinson as a minister, whilst I was a minister. The personal arrangement that we came to, we made before I was a minister."

11.30am Downing Street expresses the Prime Minister's full confidence in both ministers.

6pm It emerges that Mr Mandelson has written to the Parliamentary standards watchdog saying he did not believe his loan needed to be declared in the register of MPs' interests, "as it was not a gift or gained through my being an MP".

But, given the media interest in the matter, "I think it appropriate that I should refer the matter to you for consideration of whether I should, at any time in the past, or now, have registered the loan to me in the register."

He adds that he made a point of distancing himself from the DTI investigation into Mr Robinson's affairs.

Wednesday 23 December

9.20am Mr Mandelson leaves his London home, ignoring questions from journalists before getting into a ministerial Rover and being driven away.


We are not like the last lot - I intend to resign

Peter Mandelson, day three
Cabinet Office Minister Dr Jack Cunningham says there was "no breach of the ministerial code", but concedes that Mr Mandelson mishandled the issue.

11.30am Tory leader William Hague challenges the Prime Minister to sack Mr Mandelson.

12.30pm Downing Street announces that Mr Mandelson has resigned.

It emerges that, the previous evening, Mr Mandelson phoned Mr Blair at Chequers to say that he is "absolutely determined that we are not like the last lot. I intend to resign."

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Mandelson says: "I should not, with all candour, have entered into the arrangement.

"I should, having done so, have told you and other colleagues whose advice I value and I should have told my Permanent Secretary on learning of the inquiry into Geoffrey Robinson, although I entirely stood aside from this."

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

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