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     PM set to form first cabinet  <<back  next>>

Gordon Brown is today set to appoint his first cabinet.

The new prime minister's first priority will be to appoint a chancellor to succeed himself, with trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling the strong favourite to fill the role.

Home secretary John Reid has already announced he is standing down, while last night speculation suggested that foreign secretary Margaret Beckett will also be replaced.

That means all three great offices of state are vacant, leaving Brown free to present a fresh set of faces to the public as part of his new administration.

With deputy prime minister John Prescott having also quit alongside Tony Blair, that post could also be filled by Brown's campaign manager Jack Straw or scrapped altogether.

Straw has also been tipped for a return to the Foreign Office or to replace Lord Falconer as secretary of state for justice with added responsibility for constitutional reform.

Brown will also need a new leader of the Lords after Baroness Amos was nominated for a new EU role last night, while social exclusion secretary Hilary Armstrong had already announced she was standing down.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt also quit last night, leaving Brown looking short of women, although new Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman will return to the cabinet as party chairman.

The new prime minister's senior ministerial team are expected to meet for the first time later this afternoon, with details of the full administration to be given by Friday.

His spokesman said that only then would his comments about using all the talents "be able to be put in context".

28 June 2007

 Last updated: 28/06/2007 09:10:00

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