Sleaze: A timeline

Nov 1990 – John Major wins general election

1992- Alan Amos cautioned by police after alleged indecency on Hampstead Heath

1993 – Tim Yeo, environment and countryside minister, forced to resign after scandal involving ‘love child’ with Tory councillor, Julia Stent. Child born on 8th July 1993 – in the middle of the government’s ‘Back to Basics’ campaign and Yeo’s public support for the institution of marriage.

July 1992 – David Mellor, national heritage secretary, exposed as having an extramarital affair with actress Antonia de Sancha.

1994 – David Ashby ‘outed’ by his wife after sleeping with men.

Oct 1994 – “Cash for Questions”; several Conservative MPs exposed as having taken money from Harrod’s owner Mohamed Al Fayed to ask questions in the House of Commons. Graham Riddick, David Tredinnick, Tim Smith and Neil Hamilton were all exposed in the scandal.

April 1995 – Defence minister Jonathan Aitken accused of doing secret deals with Saudi princes. Denies all accusations, promising to wield the “sword of truth” in libel proceedings against The Guardian newspaper. Subsequently convicted of perjury and sent to prison.

Dec 1996 – David Willetts forced to resign over an investigation into Neil Hamilton that found that Willets had lied and rigged evidence over ‘Cash for Questions’.

May 1997 – Tony Blair becomes PM on the back of promise to clean up British politics.

Nov 1997 – Labour party forced to hand back a £1m donation from Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone after cash linked to decision to temporarily exempt Formula One from a tobacco advertising ban.

Dec 1998 – Peter Mandelson resigns after failing to declare home loan from Geoffrey Robinson.

Jan 2001 – Mandelson forced to resign, again, after misleading Downing Street about role in Hinduja passport row.

Feb 2002 – Labour accused of helping Indian tycoon Lakshmi Mittal buy Romania’s state steel industry in return for a £125,000 party donation

April 2002 -Tony Blair accused of using his trip to the Czech Republic to promote the sale of jet fighters made by Labour donor BAE Systems

Aug 2002 – Labour accused of handing a £32m contract to supply smallpox vaccine to PowderJect, a company headed by a Labour donor Paul Drayson, who donated £100,000 to the party.

Dec 2002 – Cheriegate property scandal envelops Downing Street. Press office forced to admit Mrs Blair had links to fraudster Peter Foster, then boyfriend of her lifestyle guru, Carole Caplin. Campbell’s advice to Blairs to distance themselves from her ignored.

May 2003 – BBC’s sexed-up dossier story breaks. Mr Campbell’s diary recorded his private fears about the report: “It was grim, it was grim for me, grim for TB and there is this huge stuff about trust.”

July 2003 – Dr David Kelly’s body found just days after he was named by the government as the BBC’s mole.

May 2004 – Labour accused of cronyism as Labour names dominate the 46 new working peers appointed to the House of Lords.

Oct 2005 – Leaked list indicatess Tony Blair personally recommended rewarding a clutch of millionaire Labour Party donors with peerages in the “Cash-for-Honours” scandal, the biggest in the party’s history.

July 2006 – Lord Levy, Labour’s fundraising boss, arrested in “Cash-for-Honours” scandal after accusation peerages were being offered in return for financial support to parties. Both Levy and Blair are later exonerated.

June 2007 – Gordon Brown becomes PM promising an end to corruption following the cash for honours scandal.

29 Jan 2008 – Derek Conway kicked out of Tory party after funneling £40,000 of public cash to his son Freddie, claiming he worked for the MP, while he was a full time student at university. It is also claimed he gave £32,000 to elder son Henry, and his wife Colette gets £40,000 a year of taxpayers’ money as his secretary.

11 Jan 2008 – Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain reported to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for failing to declare £103,156 in gifts to his Labour deputy leader bid.

22 Jan 2009 – Former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain found guilty of “serious and substantial” failures over undeclared donations in his deputy leadership campaign.

25 Jan 2009 – Four Labour peers are accused of entering into negotiations, involving fees of up to £120,000, with Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists for a foreign firm. All of them strenuously deny the allegations.