Here is the full text of Communities Secretary Hazel Blears' resignation letter and Prime Minister Gordon Brown's reply.
As you know, for some time I have been considering my future contribution to public life, and I have decided to resign from the Government.
I am proud of my service to the Labour Government over the past eight years, and proud of what we together have achieved for the people of our country.
As public health Minister, as counter-terrorism Minister, as chair of the Labour Party, and as Communities Secretary, I have worked hard to turn Labour's values into practical policies which directly benefit hard-working families I remain convinced that Britain is better served by Labour Government than any of the alternatives, and will work tirelessly to see Labour elected at the next General Election.
My politics has always been rooted in the belief that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things, given the right support and encouragement.
The role of a progressive Government should be to pass power to the people I've never sought high office for the sake of it, or for what I can gain, but for what I can achieve for the people I represent and serve.
In this next phase of my political life I am redoubling my efforts to speak up for Salford people as their Member of Parliament I am returning to the grassroots (where I began), to political activism, and to the cut and thrust of political debate.
Most of all I want to help you and the Labour Party to reconnect with the British people, to remind them that our values are their values, that their hopes and dreams are ours too, and to expose the policies of the Conservatives.
Yours sincerely, Hazel Blears
Thank you for letting me know that you have decided to resign from the Government at the next reshuffle.
You have served this Government with distinction for over eight years, in a number of Ministerial roles, and you were also Chair of the Labour Party between 2006 and 2007.
Your work for both the Government and the Labour Party has been tireless and has helped deliver significant and lasting reforms.
As Minister of State at the Home Office, you took forward important work on police reform, with the aim of ensuring that people are safe and feel safe in their homes and their communities.
You took forward new initiatives to tackle violent crime and alcohol-related disorder and you led work to strengthen our country's response to the threat of international terrorism.
More recently, as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, you have driven forward the community empowerment agenda, to ensure that local people are able to shape services to meet their needs You have implemented major structural reform of local government.
And you have taken forward important work to enhance community cohesion.
This year's increase in council tax was the lowest for 15 years I know that you will continue use your energy and commitment to support the Government from the backbenches as we continue and accelerate our programme for constitutional renewal, economic recovery and public service reform.
Your own ideas are already contributing to this.
I am grateful for all of your work for the Government, wish you and your husband Michael well for the future, and hope it will not be long before you can return to Government.
Yours sincerely, Gordon