Forest of Dean MP resigns as Immigration Minister

Mark Harper, Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean, has this afternoon resigned as Immigration Minister after it was revealed that his cleaner was an illegal immigrant.

National

Mark Harper: 'I must hold myself to a higher standard'

Mark Harper, who has resigned as Immigration Minister after discovering that his cleaner was in the UK illegally, said that he felt compelled to resign even though he had "complied with the law at all times".

Mark Harper has resigned as immigration minister after discovering his cleaner was in the country illegally
Mark Harper has resigned as immigration minister after discovering his cleaner was in the country illegally Credit: PA

In his resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservative MP said: "As Immigration Minister, who is taking legislation through Parliament which will toughen up our immigration laws, I should hold myself to a higher standard than expected of others."

He added: "I have always believed that politics is a team game, not an individual sport.

"Under the circumstances, I have therefore decided that the right course is for me to return to the backbenches. I am sorry for any embarrassment caused."

Mr Harper said he would continue to support the Conservative party and the government "in whatever way I can".

National

PM accepted Harper's resignation 'with regret'

The Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Immigration Minister Mark Harper "with regret", Downing Street said.

Harper announced his resignation over his employment of a cleaner who was not permitted to work in the UK.

"Mark Harper offered his resignation after he was informed that his cleaner did not have indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, despite having shown him documents claiming she did," a Downing Street statement read.

"He immediately notified the Prime Minister - who accepted his resignation with regret. There is no suggestion that Mr Harper knowingly employed an illegal immigrant."

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Tory MPs lend support to Mark Harper after resignation

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Very sorry to read Mark Harper's resignation letter. A very good minister, colleague and decent man who has behaved honourably.

Conservative MPs have voiced their support for Mark Harper, who has resigned as Immigration Minister after he discovered he was employing a cleaner who no longer had the right to live in the UK.

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V sorry to see Immigration Minister Mark Harper go. He was a good Minister & shows typical integrity & decency in tough decision to resign.

Tory MP Nick de Bois said he was "very sorry" to hear of Mr Harper's departure, calling him "a very good minister, colleague and decent man".

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Sorry to hear of mark harper resigning. Really decent guy and like him to act honourably. No calls from the PM, so job offer not mine.

Conservative MP Andrew Percy said Mr Harper was a "really decent guy", and said it was "like him to act honourably" by resigning as he did.