The Government has been hurled into chaos with the astonishing revelation that a junior Foreign Office Minister is an illegal immigrant.
Kazimierz Zbigniew (38) entered the House of Commons at the last General Election as MP for Woolbank and Little Lun with a 12,000 majority.
His performances on the floor, along with his cool demeanour during interviews, saw a rapid rise through the backbenches before taking up his Foreign Office post during the last Cabinet reshuffle.
Ironically Zbigniew's responsibilities include leading the team that will set up the UK's electronic frontiers to monitor and curb illegal immigrants.
But last night Downing Street was plunged into a fresh turmoil when a national newspaper revealed that Zbigniew was a Moldovan with a wife and two children in his home town of Cahul, near the Romanian border.
The astonishing revelation surfaced during an interview with Maryna Zbigniew in a national Moldovan newspaper. Maryna (36) was a failed contender in her country's Eurovision song contest heats.
However, her sultry looks and unique singing style propelled her into the national limelight. During an interview with the 150,000 circulation Врушка she revealed she had been able to concentrate on her singing as her husband had been sending money from the UK where "he works for the nice Tony Blair".
"My husband has been away from Moldova for many years now," she said. "He left to pick berries and became involved in politics.
"His English is very good because he studied the language and politics at university in Chisinau."
It was when Maryna was quizzed on his actual job that she revealed her husband was now a Foreign Office Minister.
The couple, who have two primary school age daughters, holiday together three or four times a year.
Zbigniew's post carries a £52,000 salary and he is the regular tennis partner of Labour Party chairman Hazel Blears.
When challenged about the reports that he should have left the UK after his six-week berry-picking vacation in 1998, Zbigniew said: "I am maybe not British but I am not a criminal. I am giving my skills to help your country.
"I am proud to be from Moldova and the term illegal immigrant' is an emotive one - but I am not the only person in this Government who is not a citizen of this country. There are many others."
He then cryptically added: "There are some who are maybe not from this planet."
It is believed he in now applying for citizenship but investigations are under way to determine how he was able to enter and exit the UK with such apparent ease over the years.