21/03/2016 14:33 GMT | Updated 21/03/2016 15:00 GMT

David Cameron Has ‘Absolute Confidence’ In George Osborne, But That Didn’t Go Well For 6 Other People

It didn't work out for them. Will it work out for George?


David Cameron has been forced to insist he has “full confidence” in George Osborne, in the wake of the backlash over planned disability benefit cuts.

The resignation of Iain Duncan Smith over the changes, which will now be abandoned, triggered a weekend of Tory infighting which left the chancellor facing the biggest crisis of his political career.

But as one astute Twitter user pointed out: 

Who is Mr Jones referring to? Here are six people whose careers took a turn for the worse shortly after being backed by Cameron. 

It might make depressing reading for Osborne...

1. Andy Coulson

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The ex-News of the World editor and Downing Street director of communications got Cameron's "full confidence" after he voluntarily met police to discuss his alleged knowledge of phone hacking.

Coulson was later jailed for 18 months for conspiracy to hack phones.

2. Liam Fox

PA/PA Archive

Fox faced intense pressure to resign after critisim of his working relationship with friend and 'adviser' Adam Werritty. 

Cameron insisted he "absolutely has full confidence" in the former defence secretary on October 10 2011. 

Fox resigned four days later when he was under investigation by parliamentary authorities for breaking the ministerial code.

3. Andrew Mitchell

Yui Mok/PA Archive

Mitchell is one of the most high-profile former cabinet members embroiled in a scandal who has had Cameron's backing. 

After being accused of calling a police officer a "pleb" for not opening the Downing Street gates to let him ride through them on his bike, the PM said he had - surprise, surprise - "full confidence" in his Chief Whip.

Later, a judge ruled Mitchell probably had called PC Toby Rowland a "pleb", forced him to pay out £80,000 in damages to the constable, and resigned from his frontbench role.

4. Maria Miller


Maria Miller came under scrutiny during an expenses scandal.

There were calls for her to step down from the culture brief when the independent parliamentary commissioner for standards recommended she repay £45,000 for funding a home for her parents at taxpayers' expense. 

She was later told to repay £5,800 of the expenses, but Cameron insisted Miller had his "full support".

She later resigned from her cabinet post.

5. Grant Shapps


Cameron pledged his "confidence" in Shapps in November last year, after the international development minister, formerly Tory party chairman, was revealed to have been warned about bullying in the party long before the death of one of its young activists.

Shapps resigned four days after getting the PM's backing.


6. Chris Huhne

Sang Tan/AP

Chris Huhne was a serving Energy Secretary in the coalition government but faced scrutiny after claims by his ex-wife she had taken the wrap for speeding while driving together. 

Not long after, he got Cameron's "vote of confidence".

And not long after that, Huhne resigned as an MP and pleased guilty to obstruction of justice and jailed for eight months.