Alan Johnson and his wife among the crowds at a service to commemorate the passing of the WWI generation in Westminster Abbey, London, 11 November 2009. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Press Association Images

Inquiry into allegations politician's wife had affair with his former bodyguard

Former British home secretary Alan Johnson resigned from front-bench opposition position yesterday as allegations emerged about his wife and his former police bodyguard.

A POLICE OFFICER WHO PROTECTED former British home secretary Alan Johnson has been referred to Scotland Yard’s standards watchdog over allegations he had an affair with Johnson’s wife.

The news came hours after Mr Johnson stepped down as shadow chancellor yesterday, citing family reasons.

The AP reports that representatives for Johnson and for the Home Office declined to comment, and Scotland Yard refused to comments on the specifics of the investigation.

The police service simply said that matters involving an unidentified police officer have been referred to their professional standards body.

Resigning yesterday, Johnson said he was resigning for “personal reasons to do with my family”. He said: “I have found it difficult to cope with these personal issues in my private life whilst carrying out an important front-bench role”.

Ed Balls will replace Johnson as the Labour Party’s spokesperson on economic affairs, and said he hopes Johnson has the “privacy to get things sorted out without the full media glare because that is the right way to do things”.

Balls’ wife, Yvette Cooper, will now take over her husband’s role as shadow home secretary, according to the Telegraph.

Johnson had served as British home secretary under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, after his June 2009 cabinet reshuffle.