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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 May 2006, 05:47 GMT 06:47 UK
Papers consider Cabinet 'purge'
Mastheads of the national newspapers
The aftermath of the English local elections provides endless headlines for Saturday's newspapers.

"Butcher Blair" is how the Times and the Daily Mail describe Tony Blair's subsequent Cabinet reshuffle.

The Financial Times calls it a "purge" while with a nod to horror films, the Daily Telegraph sums it up as the "Nightmare on Downing Street".

The paper reports that the prime minister swung the axe in a last, desperate attempt to stay in power.

'Last stand'

Headline writers on the Daily Mirror and Daily Star choose "The Blair Ditch Project" to describe the loss of several ministers in the reshuffle.

The Independent talks of "The Last Stand", saying after a bad night at the polls, "Blair rips apart his Cabinet".

The paper's Andrew Grice sees it as the prime minister's last throw of the dice, while the Times wonders if it is just another inept Blair reshuffle.

The Guardian says Mr Blair is under more pressure to name his departure date.


The Telegraph also turns the spotlight on the new Home Secretary John Reid, who has served in seven government departments in nine years.

The Times says he is now the one serious possible challenger to Gordon Brown.

Mr Blair has hit the "panic button" says the Morning Star, reshuffling ministers in a desperate attempt to rescue the bruised new Labour project.

But left-wing Labour MPs and trade unionists want a real change in policies and a new party leader, says the paper.

'No jobs'

Meanwhile a furious storm is building up around John Prescott, according to the Daily Express.

He was stripped of his department in the reshuffle, but kept the perks of his old job - a decision the Daily Mail calls "incredible".

Next to a picture of a smiling Mr Prescott the Express writes: "No wonder he's so smug."

The Sun bluntly asks: "What is the point of John Prescott?" while the Mirror dubs him "no jobs".

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