Magazine article The Spectator

Barometer

Magazine article The Spectator

Barometer

Article excerpt

Family fortunes Louise Mensch became the latest MP to resign in order to spend more time with her family. The phrase has become something of a euphemism over the years to refer to somebody who has made a suspicious exit, not least because the original politician to resign for that stated reason - Norman Fowler from his job as employment secretary in January 1990 - did so a few months after the sudden departure of Nigel Lawson as chancellor of the exchequer.

- That event signified a deep rift between Mrs Thatcher and her ministers, and presaged her downfall a year later. Fowler has since insisted that he really did want to spend more time with his family, which at the time consisted of a wife, Fiona, 16-year-old stepson Oliver and daughters Kate, 8, and Isobel, 5.

- The words he actually used in his resignation letter were 'I have a young family and over the next years I should like to devote more time to them while they are still so young. …

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