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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 August 2006, 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK
Blair and Reid 'dominating' media
John Reid on TV, announcing details of the alleged terror plot
Mr Reid was the first minister to go on TV about the alleged terror plot
Home Secretary John Reid has gained almost as much UK media coverage in the past two weeks as John Prescott and Gordon Brown combined, a study claims.

Mr Reid led the government's response to terror raids amid reports - denied by Downing Street - that deputy PM Mr Prescott had been sidelined.

Tony Blair got the most coverage, according to the LexisNexis survey.

Tory leader David Cameron lagged well behind but was still comfortably ahead of Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell.

The survey will fuel speculation Mr Reid is raising his profile ahead of a possible leadership challenge when Tony Blair steps down.

There were 1,282 stories about Mr Reid between 3 and 16 August, a period which covered the alleged terror plot.

Mr Brown had 795 appearances, 17 more than Mr Prescott, who spent eight days standing in for Tony Blair. The prime minister led the poll on 2,819 stories.

LexisNexis found 545 for Mr Cameron, while Sir Menzies had 119.

The research company said it had monitored 12,000 newspapers, magazines, agency services, websites and broadcast outlets during the two-week period.


Early on 10 August, Mr Reid featured prominently in the media, explaining why the threat level against the UK had been increased to "critical".

Overnight, anti-terror officers had swooped on a number of addresses and arrested 24 people alleged to have been planning to blow up several transatlantic airliners.

The home secretary chaired both of the initial meetings of the government's emergencies committee, Cobra - neither of which was attended by Mr Prescott.

Tony Blair at his monthly press conference
Tony Blair (pictured): 2,819
John Reid: 1,282
Gordon Brown: 795
John Prescott: 778
David Cameron: 545
Douglas Alexander: 370
Sir Menzies Campbell: 119
Source: LexisNexis MarketImpact

And Mr Reid would later insist that the deputy prime minister, who was acting leader at that stage, had not been sidelined during the crisis.

Mr Prescott was said to have been "incandescent with rage" at suggestions that this was the case.

Mr Brown, seen by many as the next Labour leader, spent much of the period with his wife, Sarah, and their newborn son James.

Conservative leader Mr Cameron made the headlines over the period in question by accusing the government of failing to do enough to fight extremism.

He also released the final draft of Built to Last, a document outlining the way forward for his party on several policy issues.

The first half of August also brought Liberal Democrat proposals to make two million low-paid workers exempt from income tax, along with a raft of environmentally-friendly measures.

However, Sir Menzies lagged well behind the other figures on the list released by LexisNexis, and was the subject of only a third as many stories as the transport secretary, Douglas Alexander.

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