John Reid is to stand down as home secretary when "Tony Blair goes". In a letter to the prime minister, he says he wished to clarify his position in the wake of last week's elections.
John Reid became home secretary last year
I do not intend to put my name forward as a candidate in the leadership
Whatever the pros and cons of a contest, I do not believe that there is eagerness in the party for what might be a divisive exercise at this time.
Moreover, I believe that it is in all our interests that the incoming prime minister should have the widest opportunity to make a fresh start, with the maximum flexibility in introducing his own agenda, ideas, and ministers.
For that he needs space. This has persuaded me that I should stand down from
the cabinet at the time you stand down as prime minister.
This will, incidentally also provide me personally with more time than is ever available while in office to discuss, listen, learn and reflect on the great issues of the next decade, especially that of security, which even now confront us (along with a little more time for my constituents, family, friends and football!)
In a letter of reply, Mr Blair said the decision would be "a great loss to both country and party".
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.