Diamond and the big quitters - how long does it take?

Jul 4, 2012

Six days of sustained pressure was enough to see off Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond

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SPIN DOCTOR Alastair Campbell was credited with coining the Ten-Day Rule, which states that if a scandal involving a government minister sticks to the front pages for as long as ten days then their political career is effectively over. If the same rule can be applied to bankers, then Bob Diamond (above centre), under pressure from Sir Mervyn King as well as parliament and the press, actually threw in the towel earlier than he might have done. His departure on Tuesaday came only six days after the story of the Libor scandal broke. Here's how many days it took some other big quitters to reach their decisions...

DAVID LAWS – one day
Laws (above left), the newly appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, had only been in his position for 17 days when the Daily Telegraph revealed on the morning of 29 May 2010, that he had claimed expenses of £40,000 to rent out two rooms for eight years from his long-term male partner. Having broken overnight on the Telegraph's website, the story was all over the Saturday papers and Laws told David Cameron in a telephone that he felt he had to resign that afternoon, which he duly did.

LIAM FOX – nine days
Stories circulated in the summer of 2011 that there was something awry with the Defence Secretary's relationship with his close friend and lobbyist Adam Werritty. On 5 October 2011, it was reported that Werritty had visited Fox at the Ministry of Defence 14 times since he had been appointed in May 2010. Two days later, The Guardian ran a story about Werritty accompanying the minister on a trip to Sri Lanka. After a civil service investigation, Fox quit on October 14.

On 4 July 2011, The Guardian broke the story that kicked off the whole phone-hacking scandal, namely that the News of the World had hacked into murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile phone after she had disappeared in 2002, while Brooks (above right) had edited the paper. By now chief executive of News International, Brooks fought to keep her job, overseeing the closure of the newspaper, but by July 15 the pressure became too much and she stood down.

GLENN HODDLE – four days
The England football manager had raised eyebrows in sporting circles when he took faith healer Eileen Drewery to the 1998 World Cup. An interview that he gave to Matt Dickinson of The Times on 30 January the following year saw him expand on his questionable beliefs, as he expressed a belief that disabled and other afflicted people were being punished for their sins in a previous life. Hoddle's contract with the FA was terminated on February 2.

In the summer of 2004, the News of the World published revelations about the then Home Secretary's affair with Kimberly Quinn, the wife of The Spectator magazine's publisher. On 28 November The Sunday Telegraph alleged that Blunkett had fast-tracked a visa application for his lover's Filipino nanny. Over the next two weeks a welter of further stories appeared that made his position untenable and he finally quit on 15 December.

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