Blair Ally to Step Down

Home secretary's surprise announcement frees new PM to overhaul cabinet
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2007 9:25 AM CDT
Britain's Home Secretary John Reid, right, and US Secretary of State for Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, left, arrive at a press conference at the Homde Office in London, Friday April 6, 2007. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – British Home Secretary John Reid will stand down, he announced yesterday, giving PM apparent Gordon Brown space to rejigger the cabinet when he succeeds Tony Blair. Tensions have run high between the old and new Labour leaders' supporters, but Reid stressed that his surprise departure was personal; the Guardian reports that wider decamping by Blair allies is unlikely.

Brown had been willing to keep Reid in the cabinet, but not necessarily as home secretary. Names of possible successors, including ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw, are already in play as Brown attempts to balance distaste for Blair and thirst for new faces with the critical need for experience. "Fresh faces are fresh only for a week," one minister said. (Read more Gordon Brown stories.)