Back to desk for gaffe MP

TO RESIGN over one embarrassment may be regarded as a misfortune. To resign twice looks like carelessness.

So Wilde might have counselled Patrick Nicholls, solicitor MP for Teignbridge and until last week a Conservative party vice-chairman, whose maladroit observations of the French and Germans meant, he would again be 'spending more time with his family.'

Or, spending more time at Dunn & Baker, the Exeter firm that took Nicholls back like a prodigal son the last time..

Nicholls' resignation followed his article in the Western Morning News headlined “Why Britain ought to remain the sceptical man of Europe”.

During the 1990 Tory party conference, he was arrested for drink driving – while minister in charge of the Government's anti-drink and drive campaign.