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The BBC's Bill Hayton
"An early casualty was the Europe Minister"
 real 56k

The BBC's John Pienaar
"In all 22 ministers left or were sacked today"
 real 56k

New Statesman Political Editor Jackie Ashley
"Everyone accepts that the government although it has a massive majority is very much on trial"
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Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Vaz out, Harman in
Keith Vaz and Harriet Harman
Mr Vaz leaves the government, while Ms Harman returns
Tony Blair's ministerial reshuffle has been completed with the resignation of Europe Minister Keith Vaz and return of former Social Security Secretary Harriet Harman.

The prime minister's long-time political secretary, Sally Morgan, has been made a peer - and named as a minister at the Cabinet Office.

Former Welsh First Minister Alun Michael is also returning to government - as rural affairs minister.

Stephen Twigg
Mr Twigg joins Robin Cook.
Government pay rises have also been announced.

The prime minister's salary has been increased by about 50,000 to 163,000 a year.

Cabinet ministers will receive an extra 18,000 a year - taking their pay to 118,000.

Ms Harman, sacked in Tony Blair's first reshuffle in 1997, had angered left-wingers by sending her son to a selective grant-maintained school.

She had also caused uproar by presiding over a cut in lone parent benefits.

Now, she is returning as solicitor general.

Sport

Another high profile casualty is Sports Minister Kate Hoey.

She is replaced by Richard Caborn.

Former Pensions Minister Jeff Rooker, now in the Lords, has been made Home Office Minister with responsibility for asylum.

Hilary Benn
Mr Benn: Following in his father's footsteps.
Former transport minister Lord Macdonald beomes the government's "enforcer" at the Cabinet Office, where he will be joined by former immigration minister Barbara Roche.

Lord Falconer stays in charge of the Dome, but adds housing and planning to his portfolio.

Those joining the government for the first time include Denis MacShane and Ben Bradshaw, who become junior ministers at the foreign office.

Hilary Benn, son of veteran leftwinger Tony Benn, enters government in the department for international development.

Stephen Twigg, who famously beat Michael Portillo in 1997, has been made parliamentary secretary to Leader of the Commons Robin Cook.

Kate Hoey
Sacked: Former Sports Minister Kate Hoey.
And for the first time, there are twins in the government.

Angela Eagle moves to the Home Office, while her sister Maria gets her first government job in the Work Department.

A total of 22 ministers have left the government.

They include Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien, and Agriculture Minister Joyce Quin and International Development Minister Chris Mullin, both of whom have quit at their own request.

The most high profile departure was that of Keith Vaz.

It had been widely expected following recent ill-health and persistent allegations about his financial conduct.

He is replaced by former Energy Minister Peter Hain.

'Intolerable pressure'

Mr Vaz's return to the backbenches was confirmed just hours after he was discharged from Leicester Royal Infirmary, where he had spent the weekend recovering from an infection.

In an exchange of letters, the prime minister thanked Mr Vaz "for all your hard work".

Mr Blair wrote: "You have been put under intolerable pressure recently, which can only have aggravated your illness.

"I hope you will now have the chance for a proper rest."

Kate Hoey was known to have clashed with her boss, culture secretary Chris Smith and her predecessor as sports minister, Tony Banks.

All three have been blamed for the political fall-out from the ill-fated Wembley Stadium project.

The reshuffle means there are now more than 30 women in the government - a new record.

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See also:

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