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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Reid's departure: the reaction
John Reid

Home Secretary John Reid's decision to step down from the cabinet with Tony Blair in June means the departure of one of the government's big hitters.

Public figures have given their reaction to his decision.

PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR'S LETTER TO MR REID

You have been an immense figure in the government over this past decade, fulfilling a number of crucial positions at vital moments, with distinction.

Your political courage, your ability to analyse and get to the heart of an issue and your understanding of people, their concerns and their hopes, has been outstanding.

Especially at critical moments in Northern Ireland, during the essential stages of reform in the NHS and most recently in the Home Office where you gave leadership and direction in one of the most challenging jobs in government, you have a record to be proud of.

PETER HAIN, NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY

Mr Hain echoed John Reid's remarks that his decision was not prompted by an inability to work under Gordon Brown:

There's no getting away from the fact that he and Gordon have never been political bosom buddies, but I don't think that's at the bottom of his decision.

SHAMI CHAKRABARTI, DIRECTOR OF CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP LIBERTY

A change of prime minister and home secretary presents a great opportunity for the government to rethink its approach to our rights and freedoms.

We hope this might be a turning-point - the start of a more principled, proportionate and inclusive response to the many challenges of home affairs.

JULIET LYON, DIRECTOR OF THE PRISON REFORM TRUST

This most populist of populist home secretaries will step down leaving government with a highly problematic legacy: overflowing jails, appalling re-conviction rates, increased public fear of crime - despite good evidence that crime prevention measures and community sentences are working at last - and a reduced confidence in officials and their capacity to sort things out.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
John Reid makes his announcement





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