Briefing scandal forces Whelan to resign from post.

One of the British government's top communications' aides has been forced to resign in the wake of a scandal about his off-the-record briefings with journalists.

One of the British government's top communications' aides has been forced to resign in the wake of a scandal about his off-the-record briefings with journalists.

Charlie Whelan stepped down from his position as press secretary to the Chancellor and Treasury Secretary, Gordon Brown, last Monday.

Whelan has been accused of leaking details about a controversial home loan taken by the former Department of Trade and Industry Minister, Peter Mandelson.

In a press statement, Whelan denied any involvement in the story and said it was 'absurd' that his departure was the focus of so much attention on the day the euro began trading.

Mandelson was regarded as a potential threat to Whelan's Treasury boss, Gordon Brown.

Mandelson, who spearheaded communications policy for Labour when it was still in opposition, was publicly embarrassed by press stories about a controversial loan he had taken from the government's paymaster general, Geoffrey Robinson.

Mandelson's department had subsequently been involved in an inquiry into Robinson's business dealings. Mandelson resigned over Christmas with Robinson stepping down hours later.

The government opposition party is concerned that Whelan's future position be governed by the same rules as other public servants in possession of sensitive budget information.

The prime minister's press secretary, Alistair Campbell said the obsession of the British press with spin-doctors was one reason why Whelan had resigned.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in