Gordon Brown's Game of Ministerial Chairs

Gordon Brown's own future promotion to Prime Minister may no longer be in doubt, but there can't be many of the current Cabinet who feel particularly secure, and they do seem to be going out of their way to help him make the sacking decisions at any rate. John Reid, at least, has already said he's going, but as if to reinforce his good sense in taking this decision, today's story about three 'control order' escapees will have underscored the need for Brown to have a clean sweep at what remains of the Home Office. Rarely can a minister have arrived so pugnaciously ('not fit for purpose' and all that) only to leave so ignominiously.

Another minister ready for the chop will be Patricia Hewitt, who survived a no confidence vote in the Commons yesterday, but largely because most MPs will have felt there was little point depriving Gordon of the decision in a few weeks time. Her Tory shadow, Andrew Lansley, descriebd her 'serial incompetence and inability to listen', which hardly makes her stand out from the crowd in this cabinet!


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