As the former prime minister Tony Blair returns to the political frontline for the first time since stepping down as prime minister in 2007, Justin Parkinson reports on what has happened to those ministers known as the Blairites.
Frequently described as one of Tony Blair's "outriders", Mr Byers is one of several Labour MPs from the North East of England seen as ultra-loyal to the former prime minister. The former transport secretary has been critical of Gordon Brown's leadership and is to stand down at the next election. Unfortunately for Mr Byers, he was secretly filmed by the Channel 4 programme Dispatches, apparently boasting to a fake lobbying company about his ability to influence ministers and his ongoing closeness to Mr Blair. He has denied any wrongdoing, but the Parliamentary Labour Party has suspended the North Tyneside MP.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Apparently keeping a low profile after TV documentary.
Another member of the North-East clique, Alan Milburn was the keeper of the Blairite flame at the Department of Health from 2001 to 2003, skirmishing with the Brownites over foundation hospitals. Since resigning from the cabinet, he has taken on various advisory roles in business and was brought back by Mr Blair to plan the 2005 election campaign - leading to clashes with Gordon Brown, who usually did that job. Launched a website with Charles Clarke in 2007, seen as attempt to flush out a Blairite challenger to Mr Brown. None emerged. Recently compiled an influential report for Mr Brown on social mobility. Mr Milburn is stepping down as an MP at the next election.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Looking for an alternative career after politics.
John Hutton recently confessed that he was the anonymous minister who said Gordon Brown would be an "effing disaster" as prime minister. The comment was made in 2006, at the height of the Blair/Brown power struggles. He has since said he was wrong about Mr Brown, under whom he served as business secretary and then defence secretary, before standing down last summer.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Standing down as an MP.
In the most dramatic departure of any Blairite, Pensions Secretary James Purnell quit the cabinet just after polls closed for last year's local and European elections, which were disastrous for Labour. Mr Purnell called on Gordon Brown to resign, claiming his leadership made the party more likely to lose the election. But no ministerial colleagues followed his lead. It has been reported that Mr Purnell thought David Miliband - a friend and former colleague on Tony Blair's staff - might follow his example. Mr Purnell, still only in his late 30s, announced last month that he would quit as an MP at the election. He has been leading a project on the future of the Left for the think-tank Demos and is reported to have done some teaching shifts at a North London comprehensive school.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Friends say he is planning to retrain as a community organiser while doing some teaching.
One of the heavyweight members of Tony Blair's last cabinet, John Reid was often touted as a possible Blairite challenger to Gordon Brown in 2007. The two Scots clashed several times when Mr Reid was home secretary, notably over plans for tougher prison sentences, and their obvious cost implications. But Mr Reid never ran for the top job and like most Labour MPs, gave Mr Brown his support although he quit the cabinet when Mr Brown became PM.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Chairman of Glasgow Celtic Football Club, influential voice on security and counter-terror. Standing down as an MP.
In 2009, while communities secretary, she mocked the prime minister's YouTube video, saying: "You Tube if you want to." When she was caught up in the expenses scandal, Mr Brown described her failure to pay capital gains tax on the sale of a home as "totally unacceptable". She was reportedly furious about being singled out for criticism and quit the cabinet on the eve of European and local elections. Since leaving the government last year, Ms Blears has said her main aim is to remain MP for Salford.
WHAT SHE IS DOING NOW: Battling to retain her Salford seat.
When it comes to Charles Clarke, "Blairite" is a term interchangeable with "anti-Brownite". He has been one of the most trenchant backbench critics of Gordon Brown, warning of Labour getting "hammered" at the polls under his leadership. He backed the attempted coup against Gordon Brown in January, but few others followed. A longstanding friend of Tony Blair despite being sacked by him as home secretary, he plans to remain the MP for Norwich South at the next election.
WHAT THEY ARE DOING NOW: If Mr Brown keeps power, and Mr Clarke keeps his seat, he is likely to remain a thorn in the prime minister's side.
THEY ALSO SERVED
A rising star under Tony Blair, Ruth Kelly has slipped quietly away from the political frontline over the last couple of years. Amid reports of disagreements with Gordon Brown, it was announced in the middle of the 2008 Labour conference that the communities secretary would leave the cabinet. There followed an unusual valedictory speech to delegates and a description of the prime minister as a "towering figure". Mr Brown added there were "no political issues" between the two of them. Then, a few days later, she said she would be quitting the Commons.
WHAT SHE IS DOING NOW: Standing down as MP for Bolton West at the general election.
David Blunkett was exactly the kind of tough-talking political bruiser Tony Blair was looking for to drive through public service reforms after his 2001 election victory. Like another of Mr Blair's close allies, Peter Mandelson, he was even brought back into the cabinet after a being forced to quit in a political scandal. In late 2006, at the height of struggles between supporters of Mr Blair and Gordon Brown, it was Mr Blunkett who warned Mr Brown's supporters to "back off" from demanding an early exit by the then prime minister. But, since the change of regime, he has remained loyal and will be standing for Parliament again at the next election. Has taken on a number of outside jobs to supplement his backbench MP's income.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Hoping to carry on as an MP after the election, with important fundraising role in Labour Party.
Like Stephen Byers and Geoff Hoon, former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has been secretly filmed offering her services as a lobbyist when she steps down as an MP at the next election. Ms Hewitt left the cabinet as soon as Gordon Brown became prime minister in 2007 and has taken up various consultancy jobs. In January this year, she and Mr Hoon wrote to all Labour MPs suggesting a secret referendum on Mr Brown's leadership. The so-called "coup" failed after failing to attract support. Ms Hewitt has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party following the lobbying claims.
WHAT SHE IS DOING NOW: Keeping a low profile.
Mr Hoon, who held several cabinet posts including defence secretary and transport secretary, was one of New Labour's great survivors. He retained a ministerial role from the party's election win in 1997 until last year, when he left in a reshuffle. Mr Hoon had not announced any plans to stand down as an MP until his and Patricia Hewitt's coup against Gordon Brown in January failed. It has been reported that Mr Hoon was angry about not being put forward for European Union high representative on foreign affairs, a job which ultimately went to Labour's Baroness Ashton. He was secretly filmed recently by Channel 4's Dispatches saying he wanted to use his international contacts to "make money" after leaving politics, to the tune of £3,000 a day. He has admitted he "got it wrong" and had been "showing off" but insisted he had not been offering to lobby ministers for money.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Attempting to repair damage done by documentary and still hoping to find an alternative career after politics.
BLAIRITES IN A BROWN WORLD
Undoubtedly the most surprising result of Gordon Brown's reshuffles was the return of Peter Mandelson - one of Tony Blair's most loyal admirers and one of Mr Brown's bitterest enemies - to government in late 2008. Summoned back from his European Commission job in Brussels, he was given a peerage and made business secretary, a job he had held more than a decade earlier. Lord Mandelson is now seen as one of the inner members of the government, frequently appearing on television to attack the Conservatives. He was also made First Minister last June, effectively becoming deputy prime minister. It was Lord Mandelson whom many credit for rallying the waivering Blairites to support Mr Brown after several ministers resigned last June. He is expected to be heavily involved in Labour's election campaign and is regarded as indispensable to the prime minister.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: What isn't he doing now?
The man behind Tony Blair's controversial drive to re-launch state schools with private money, many thought Andrew Adonis would be shown the exit when Gordon Brown took over. But far from a consolation prize for a minister on the way out, the role of transport secretary has turned out to be his dream job, as he has set out ambitious plans for a new high speed rail network. Known to be admired by the Conservatives for his modernising credentials, he has ruled out carrying on in the role if they win the election.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Fending off calls to carry on as transport secretary if Tories win election.
As higher education minister, Alan Johnson earned the admiration and gratitude of then prime minister by steering his controversial tuition fee policy through Parliament in the teeth of left-wing and Brownite opposition. To the surprise of some, his rise continued under Gordon Brown, when he was moved from education to health and then appointed home secretary. Endlessly linked with a possible leadership bid, which he always bats away with characteristic self-effacing wit, although has also said "never say never" regarding the top job.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Concentrating on Home Office and getting Labour re-elected. Denying leadership ambitions.
One of Tony Blair's most loyal friends, Tessa Jowell was demoted when Gordon Brown became prime minister - from culture secretary to Olympics minister. It was a high-profile role but not a cabinet post. However, the minister who reportedly once said she would "jump under a bus" for Mr Blair stayed in the government. She returned to the cabinet last year, as Cabinet Office minister and Paymaster General. She also kept the Olympics brief.
WHAT SHE IS DOING NOW: Has been reselected as a candidate in Dulwich and denied rumours she wants to quit Parliament.
The foreign secretary has a reasonable claim to be the most senior Blairite remaining in government, along with Lord Mandelson. David Miliband worked for Tony Blair's policy unit in the 1990s. After becoming an MP in 2001, he progressed to environment secretary. When Gordon Brown entered 10 Downing Street in 2007, he promoted Mr Miliband to the Foreign Office. The two men are said not to be close. Miliband was being urged to stand against Mr Brown when Blair stood down and there was feverish speculation he would challenge Brown in 2008 and May 2009, but this did not happen. If Labour loses the election, he is many people's tip to be the Blairite candidate for next leader.
WHAT HE IS DOING NOW: Being foreign secretary, denying leadership ambitions.
Andy Burnham, who has described himself previously as a "Blairite for Brown", has enjoyed a continued rise and is now health secretary. Caroline Flint, a close friend of Hazel Blears, quit the government last year after she was not promoted from Europe minister to a cabinet role, claiming Gordon Brown treated women as "window dressing". Liam Byrne has enjoyed steady progress and is now chief secretary to the Treasury. Ben Bradshaw, a long-serving junior and middle-ranking minister, was made culture secretary by Mr Brown in 2009.
Additional reporting by Brian Wheeler