As 4th Minister Quits, Brown's Outlook Bleak

Blears resigns in potentially fatal blow to PM's authority
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2009 7:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – With one day to go before clutch British elections, another minister resigned from Gordon Brown's Cabinet today, dealing the beleaguered PM another devastating blow. Hazel Blears, an arch-Blairite who was exposed for avoiding $21,000 in capital gains tax, refused to praise Brown in her resignation statement. She is the fourth minister to quit in the past 24 hours, reports the Times of London—and if election results are as bad as predicted, Brown could soon be forced from office.

Today the Guardian, a paper closely allied with the Labour Party, published a stinging editorial calling for Brown to resign, branding his premiership a "tragedy." The PM is planning a major government reshuffle in the wake of tomorrow's local and European elections, which may see new faces in all major Cabinet posts. But that depends on Brown surviving that long; one former minister said today, "He's as tough as steel but this is going to get him in the end." (Read more Gordon Brown stories.)