Tuesday 18 March 2003

Blair loses third minister on Iraq

A third minister has quit the government over the Iraq crisis as Clare Short announced she would stay in her cabinet job despite earlier threats to resign.

Home Office Minister John Denham has now followed Health Minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath in resigning on Tuesday morning.

Their resignations come in the wake of Robin Cook's departure from the cabinet after he objected to war without a fresh United Nations mandate.

Ms Short's decision to stay - despite saying she was still "very critical" of the way the crisis has been handled - is a boost for Tony Blair as he prepares to get House of Commons backing for war on Tuesday afternoon.

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List of Labour resignations