Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

9 June 1993: Norman Lamont resigns

House of Commons

Norman Lamont's departure from government was a result of Black Wednesday - when, as chancellor, he was forced to remove sterling from the ERM, despite earlier assurances that he would not do so.

It was a crisis that severely rocked the government, destroying the Conservatives' long-standing reputation for economic competence and calling into question John Major's credibility as prime minister.

There was much speculation of a leadership challenge unless the prime minister could regain his party's confidence.

Mr Lamont was heavily criticised for his role in Black Wednesday and came under considerable pressure to resign as chancellor in wake of the episode.

But it was not for another eight months, in May 1993, that Mr Lamont resigned. In a speech to a hushed Commons, the former chancellor delivered a stinging attack on Mr Major's government famously accusing it of "being in office, but not in power".

Mr Lamont's resignation speech was not a fatal intervention but it did mark the beginning of what would be turbulent times for Mr Major and his government.

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