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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Reid 'no ambition to lead Labour'
John Reid
The home secretary is seen as Tony Blair's trouble-shooter
John Reid has said he has "no ambition" to be Labour leader, as speculation continues about Tony Blair's departure.

The new home secretary's name has been floated as a "stop Brown" candidate for when the prime minister stands down.

Mr Blair has said he will not seek a fourth term in office and will allow his successor "ample time" to settle in ahead of the next general election.

Chancellor Gordon Brown is widely assumed to be his successor but there is talk of a "Blairite" challenger.

Mr Reid was asked about his ambitions by Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio's Five Live breakfast programme.

He replied: "No. I'm, I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing, Nicky ...

"I have no ambition other than to do the job that I'm doing."

Local elections

Ex-Labour minister Frank Field told the BBC last week that Mr Brown "does not want to take over a government and a party which is just rubble".

He said: "Well clearly, Gordon has a right to be part of that contest [to replace Mr Blair] and my guess is certainly one of the other candidates would be Dr Reid."

Another ex-minister, Clare Short, told the BBC's Daily Politics last week she thought Mr Reid or his predessor as home secretary Charles Clarke were likely challengers.

Mr Reid has held a succession of key jobs in the government recent years.

They include Labour chairman, health secretary, defence secretary and now his current job.

He is widely seen as Mr Blair's trouble-shooter - the prime minister made him home secretary after sacking Charles Clarke in the recent reshuffle.

That came the day after Labour had a poor showing in local elections adding to the pressure on Mr Blair to say just when he proposed to stand down.

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