Lord Sainsbury quits as science minister

LORD Sainsbury, the billionaire Minister for Science and the longest-serving Government member after Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has resigned “personal rather reasons.

By Graham Dines

LORD Sainsbury, the billionaire Minister for Science and the longest-serving Government member after Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has resigned “personal rather reasons.”

He has insisted his decision to retire is unconnected with the on-going police investigation into cash for ermine. Lord Sainsbury, 66 and former chairman of the supermarket chain, has made donations of £6.5m to the Labour Party since 2002, was interviewed by police in the summer.

He said today: “I am not directly involved in whether peerages were offered for cash, I am not the party's fundraiser and I have been a peer for nine years, so no one is suggesting I was in the business of buying a peerage.”


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The Prime Minister said Lord Sainsbury had been a huge asset to the Government and the country. “David has worked tirelessly to push the case for science within Government. It is in no small part down to him that this country's science base is in better shape than for decades, something of vital importance for this country's future.”

Malcolm Wicks has been appointed to succeed Lord Sainsbury as science minister and Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling will take over Mr Wicks's former responsibility for energy

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