Arms-to-Iraq (1990)

ONE of the first scandals to hit John Major’s premiership concerned the sale of arms by British companies.

A trial of three men accused of shipping arms-making machinery to Iraq collapsed after it became clear that the British government knew they were helping Saddam Hussein.

Major’s role came under scrutiny after it emerged he was chancellor when a secret policy change approving arms sales was endorsed by the Cabinet. 

David Mellor (1992) 

A revelation that culture minister David Mellor had an affair with actress Antonia de Sancha led to a stream of stories about the married MP. Her infamous claim that he had made love in a Chelsea football strip, along with lewd details of toe-sucking and spanking, later turned out to be made up.

READ MORE: Tories 'face £25 million shortfall as donors see support as pointless'

The minister remained in his post for several months but resigned after allegations about his business and social connections, including accepting a free holiday as the guest of a Palestinian Liberation Official’s daughter.

Tim Yeo (1994)

Environment minister Tim Yeo resigned his post over a “love child” scandal, just hours after vowing to stay on.

It followed accusations of hypocrisy over his party’s focus on “family values” and a time when “ministers have been castigating single parents and feckless fathers”, the Guardian reported.

Cash-for-questions (1994)

One of the biggest scandals of the decade was the cash-for-questions affair, which led to the resignations of Conservative MPs Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith.

Mohamed al-Fayed, owner of Harrods at the time, revealed he had given them money in brown paper envelopes to ask certain questions in the Commons.

Jonathan Aitken (1995)

Following media reports that a Saudi businessman had paid for Jonathan Aitken to stay at the Paris Ritz hotel he resigned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. But his downfall came after he launched a libel action over the claims – which ended up with him being jailed for 18 months after admitting he lied during the court case. 

And now… The return of Suella Braverman (Oct)

During the final week of Liz Truss’s premiership, Suella Braverman stepped down as home secretary after she broke ministerial rules, admitting a “technical infringement” by sending restricted material to someone unauthorised to receive it.

Just six days later she was given her job back by the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said she had “learned from her mistake”.

Bullying allegations (Nov)

Further questions were raised over Sunak’s political judgement after Gavin Williamson, who he appointed as Minister of State without Portfolio, resigned over allegations of bullying.

He was accused of sending abusive messages to a fellow Tory MP and there were claims he told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat”, and is facing two formal investigations.

More bullying claims (Dec)

Another month, another scandal over bullying – this time involving Dominic Raab. The deputy prime minister is now the subject of eight formal complaints, which are said to span several years and a number of government departments. Downing Street has said Sunak was not aware of formal complaints

The National: Dominic Raab is the subject of eight formal complaintsDominic Raab is the subject of eight formal complaints (Image: PA)

Tax row (Jan)

Nadhim Zahawi was sacked as Conservative Party chair following a row over his tax affairs and the revelation he had paid a penalty to HMRC.

Sunak claimed he acted swiftly after an investigation by his ethics adviser found there had been multiple breaches of the ministerial code, but the Prime Minister was accused of being weak over his handling of the case.