Brown Likely to Hang On to Power
In reshuffle, British PM invites Apprentice host to join government
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2009 8:18 AM CDT
Britain's Chancellor Alistair Darling, right, watches as Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks during a news conference at 10 Downing Street in London. Darling remains chancellor in today's reshuffle.    (AP Photo / Luke MacGregor, pool)
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(Newser) – Gordon Brown looked set to hang on to power this morning, despite the shock resignation of yet another minister who called on him to step down. James Purnell, a young Blairite, quit the Cabinet seconds after polls closed in last night's election, forcing Brown to bring forward a planned government reshuffle. Among the new faces: Alan Sugar, the host of Britain's version of The Apprentice, who will be made a lord and serve as an enterprise czar.

Purnell's shock resignation failed to trigger a mutiny among fellow ministers, who instead rallied around their leader. Alan Johnson, tipped to be the next PM if Labour ousted Brown, instead backed his rival and was rewarded with the powerful post of home secretary. Meanwhile Alistair Darling, the chancellor, will remain in his position despite earlier signals he'd be fired—a development many observers interpreted as a sign of Brown's weak position.