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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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