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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
At-a-glance: Tony Blair reshuffle
Here are the details of Tony Blair's reshuffle of his Cabinet in the wake of big losses in Thursday's local elections.

John Prescott

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

John Prescott remains as deputy prime minister and in his elected role as deputy leader of the Labour Party but is losing his portfolio - the 'super ministry' known as the ODPM. It covered housing, local government, regeneration, planning and urban and regional issues.

Many of Mr Prescott's responsibilities will pass to Ruth Kelly, who takes on the newly-created post of community and local government secretary.

Margaret Beckett

FOREIGN SECRETARY

Margaret Beckett leaves her job as secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs to get one of the top jobs in government, becoming Britain's first ever woman foreign secretary.

Main challenges: Among her top tasks will be the issue of Britain's future role in Iraq, how to deal with Iran in its race to become a nuclear power and how to boost relations with Europe.

John Reid

HOME SECRETARY

John Reid leaves defence and takes over the home affairs brief following the sacking of Charles Clarke in the wake of the revelation that foreign prisoners including murderers and sex offenders were released and not deported.

Main challenges: Sorting out the issue of what to do with foreign prisoners. The home secretary's remit is wide. It includes measures to combat the ongoing security threat by extremists and dealing with asylum and immigration.

Desmond Browne

DEFENCE SECRETARY

Des Browne's promotion to such a key job will inevitably raise the profile of the former chief secretary to the Treasury.

Main challenges: The defence secretary's role is crucial at any time but the fact of British deployment overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to ensure that it is one of the biggest jobs around.

Alan Johnson

EDUCATION SECRETARY

Alan Johnson moves from trade and industry to the education portfolio replacing Ruth Kelly who was dogged by allegations about convicted paedophiles working in schools. Mr Johnson is seen as a rising star, a Blairite and a confident media performer.

Main challenges: The top challenge is to convince people about New Labour's reforms of secondary schools which will give them greater autonomy from local authorities.

Alistair Darling

TRADE SECRETARY

Alistair Darling moves from the joint post of transport and Scotland secretary to take on this key job.

Main challenges: Mr Darling is seen as a leading Brownite and the ultimate safe pair of hands. As trade secretary he will be charged with cutting unnecessary red tape and boosting business. Not everyone agrees there is a need for such a job - the Lib Dems have said they want to abolish the DTI.

Douglas Alexander

TRANSPORT SECRETARY

Douglas Alexander is elevated to the position of transport secretary and takes on the additional role of secretary of state for Scotland. He replaces Alistair Darling.

Main challenges: Modernising Britain's crumbling transport network and the controversial issue of airport expansion are likely to keep Mr Alexander busy.

David Miliband

ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY

David Miliband moves from local government minister to being secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

Main challenges: This is a key role which takes in everything from fears about bird flu, growing concern about the role of supermarkets, the state of British farming and the rising prominence of the green agenda partly because of Conservative leader David Cameron's focus in the local election campaign.

Ruth Kelly

COMMUNITY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARY

Ex-education secretary Ruth Kelly is to take over some of Mr Prescott's responsibilities covering communities and local government. The department will be renamed and restructured.

Main challenges: The most difficult aspect of Ms Kelly's job will be the knotty issue of how to reform local government finance. Council tax has risen by 84% since 1997. Sir Michael Lyons was asked in 2004 to look at how local councils funding could be changed. He is due to report in December. Among the ideas he is considering is valuing homes individually to decide their council tax bills rather than the current band system.

Stephen Timms

CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY

Stephen Timms moves from minister for pensions to the cabinet role of chief secretary to the Treasury

Main challenges: Mr Timms' new job makes him number two in rank to Gordon Brown in that most powerful of government ministries. He will play a key role in spending rounds - the tricky negotiations in which Cabinet ministers have to make the case for cash to fund their areas of responsibility. Deciding the priorities of how public money will be used is often a delicate operation.

Jack Straw

LEADER OF THE COMMONS

Jack Straw is demoted from the Foreign Office brief to the House of Commons, following in the path of his predecessor the late Robin Cook.

Main challenges: As ever under this government there is a packed legislative programme which will keep Mr Straw busy and the as yet unresolved issue of what to do about the House of Lords. The contentious point is what proportion of it should be elected, and what proportion appointed. He will also be looking into the future of party funding.

Hazel Blears

LABOUR PARTY CHAIRMAN

Hazel Blears gets the job of minister without portfolio and chairman of the Labour Party.

Main challenges: After these elections rebuilding morale will be seen as key to her job. The Labour Party's presence in local government is severely diminished, there are growing calls for Mr Blair to go and the prime minister faces a new leader of the Conservative Party whose fortunes for the moment, at least, are in the ascendant.

Jacqui Smith

CHIEF WHIP

Jacqui Smith is moved from the job of schools minister to chief whip.

Main challenges: The chief whip has a key job delivering support from Labour backbenchers for the government's programme. With a reduced majority for Labour since the last general election and growing disquiet over public service reforms, the job will be challenging.

Hilary Armstrong

CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Hilary Armstrong moves from her old job as chief whip to a role which will also include being social exclusion minister

Main challenges: The post of Duchy of Lancaster has been vacant since John Hutton was promoted to work and pensions secretary. It allows the premier to appoint a 'minister without portfolio'. Tony Blair used the title to bring Alan Milburn back into government for the 2005 general election campaign. Ms Armstrong has the additional role of social exclusion minister - an issue that is central to Mr Blair's 'respect' agenda.

Non-Cabinet ministers allowed to attend meetings:

Ian McCartney

FOREIGN OFFICE/DTI MINISTER OF STATE

Ian McCartney moves from his old job as Labour chairman to this newly created role.

Main challenges: This will be seen as a demotion for Ian McCartney even if he is still allowed to sit in on Cabinet meetings. His job is a new role and exactly what it entails is unclear at this stage.

Geoff Hoon

EUROPE MINISTER

Geoff Hoon replaces Douglas Alexander with a job that while not strictly a Cabinet post allows him to sit in on meetings.

Main challenges: The Europe brief has taken on a lower profile in recent months but with issues like how to run the newly enlarged EU still unresolved it remains an important role. Mr Hoon was previously Commons leader and before that defence secretary.

PEOPLE KEEPING THEIR JOB

Prime Minister Tony Blair
Chancellor Gordon Brown
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell
Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton
Northern Ireland and Wales Secretary Peter Hain
Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Amos
Constitutional Affairs Lord Falconer
Chief Whip in the Lords, Lord Grocott
International Development Secretary Hilary Benn
Attorney General Lord Goldsmith

JUNIOR MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS

Parliamentary secretary for social exclusion Pat McFadden
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls
Parliamentary secretary at Cabinet Office Ed Miliband
Minister of State at Home Office Liam Byrne (replaces Hazel Blears)
Work minister Jim Murphy
Pensions minister James Purnell
Health minister Andy Burnham
Trade and industry minister Margaret Hodge
Meg Munn keeps her job as minister for women, but gets a salary

MINISTERS LEAVING GOVERNMENT

Jane Kennedy
Alun Michael
Elliot Morley
Lord Bach
Fiona McTaggart
Don Touhig





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