UK - Peter Hain, the secretary of state for work and pensions, has resigned from the UK government after it was confirmed he may face criminal investigations over his failure to declare political campaign donations totalling £103,000 (€138,000) by the required deadline.
Hain's resignation was confirmed shortly after the Electoral Commission, an independent body that registers party and election financing, announced it had handed details relating to Hain's failure to fully report donations he had received for his campaign to become Labour Party deputy leader to the Metropolitan Police.
The Commission said additional information provided by Hain had allowed it to conduct a "thorough review" of the issue, and added: "following discussions with the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service, the Electoral Commission has now referred matters to the Metropolitan Police for them to consider whether an investigation should commence".
Following the announcement Hain said he had "no alternative" but to step down from his dual role as secretary of state for work and pensions and secretary of state for Wales "in order to give myself the time and opportunity to clear my name".
A spokesman from the prime minister's office said: "Peter Hain has made a statement. The prime minister has accepted Peter Hain's resignation."
Chris Grayling, shadow work and pensions secretary for the opposition Conservative Party, said: "Peter Hain's resignation was inevitable and the right thing to do given the Electoral Commission's decision."
He added: "What is important now is for [prime minister] Gordon Brown to take rapid action to restore effective leadership to a department that has clearly been distracted by the events of the last few weeks,"
Hain's resignation comes as the government faces continuing criticism of elements of its latest Pensions Bill, which is currently in the committee stage of the parliamentary process before being sent back to the House of Commons for a third reading.
At the moment there has been no indication of who will replace Hain as work and pensions secretary.
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