1841 What a day. It has taken in ministerial resignations, the news of an impending by-election, the transformation of Sir Alan into Lord Sugar and big Conservative gains in parts of the country where Tory canvassers would have feared to tread just a few years ago. But if Gordon Brown faces nightmarish election results and the possibility of revolt from his own back benches, he is, as he said himself, still prime minister. That ends our live text coverage. Please join us again on Sunday from 1930 BST for our live coverage of the European election results. 1830 Up in Lancashire - having hot-footed it from Devon - David Cameron is in bullish mood. "We are winning in every part of the country," he says. "We have won every council that we could possibly have won. People can see a strong, united, positive alternative." 1828 Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, tells BBC News: "We have got to listen to what these results are saying, but I think we already know that voters are worried about the economy and furious about expenses." 1821 BBC political editor Nick Robinson says: Gordon Brown is stronger than he was, but not by much. Ministers face a choice, as one told me, between a slow, lingering death if they keep him, and instant death if he goes.1820 Peter Hain, who is returning as Welsh secretary, is full of praise for his boss: "I think Gordon Brown is the towering figure in British politics - there's nobody who has his stature." Interestingly, outgoing minister Tom Watson used the word "towering" to describe Mr Brown earlier on.1815 BBC political correspondent Iain Watson says: Labour rebels who planned to send a round robin email calling for the prime minister to go say they were wrong-footed by the early reshuffle. But they are still prepared to press the "send" button. 1810 First Minister of Wales Rhodri Morgan congratulates Peter Hain on his return as Welsh secretary. Mr Hain, he says, is an "outstanding public figure". But shadow Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan calls the appointment "another sign of Labour looking to the past when what we need is a fresh start". MikeSnos tweets:Caroline Flint really sticks the knife into Gordon Brown and accuses him of using her as "window dressing". Ouch! Read MikeSnos's Tweets 1803 The Spectator's political editor, Fraser Nelson, says that for Mr Brown to survive cabinet unrest, backbench plots, an economy in recession and abysmal election results, he must be a "Terminator prime minister. It seems like nothing can kill him." 1801 Tory leader David Cameron is in Lancashire, where his party has won control of the county council. He says he has seen "more calm and ordered riots" than Mr Brown's reshuffle. Really?1756 UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage is not happy. He says: "This appointment of Glenys Kinnock as Minister for Europe is totally inappropriate. The political and financial loyalties of the Kinnock family are to the European Union and not to Britain."1753 Alan Johnson, who has been promoted to home secretary and is tipped by many as a possible successor to Mr Brown, is playing it cool. He says: "I am flattered that people think highly of me. I want them to think highly of me as a home secretary in a Labour government serving under the prime minister."1744 Ms Flint says Mr Brown has "strained every sinew" of her loyalty to the government. She says she is not prepared to attend cabinet "in a peripheral capacity" - meaning she wanted a promotion. Spiceskull tweets: They really are dropping like flies and the council map is so blue... Read Spiceskull's Tweets 1738 BBC chief political correspondent James Landale says: It's been a mini-reshuffle. Over half of the cabinet are in the same jobs. There are only six new entrants. It's not a substantial injection of new blood.1737 The attack goes on. In her resignation letter, Ms Flint says Mr Brown leads a "two-tier government: your inner circle and the remainder of the cabinet". 1735 Ex-Europe Minister Caroline Flint hits out at the prime minister after resigning from the government, accusing Gordon Brown of treating her as "female window dressing". 1730 The press conference comes to an and. With the reshuffle complete, the BBC's Jon Sopel notes that tomorrow might be the anniversary of D-Day, but this has been the prime minister's longest day. sassalynne tweets: I am in business and I don't see what Mandelson has done for me. Read sassalynne's Tweets Dave from Alnwick says: How about Gordon Brown extending the scrappage scheme to himself and the government. Have Your Say 1727 A bit more on Lord Mandelson's new mega-ministry. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will be a merger between his old old Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Phew. Got that? 1723 "Nobody lays down conditions when they come into government," insists the prime minister. 1720 Glenys Kinnock will be elevated to the Lords. 1719 Lord Mandelson has been given an "enhanced role", says Mr Brown, "as I believe is right given both his experience and his contribution". Lee Dauphin from Wigan says: Gordon Brown seemed safe a week ago. Now he seems doomed, and this is very sad. The IMF recently praised him for policies that tackled the recession. Have Your Say 1717 Asked about Caroline Flint, the ally of Hazel Blears who has resigned from the government, Mr Brown replies: "Caroline was and has been a very good minister". He says he asked her if she would take on a "job attending the cabinet, but she didn't see it that way".1716 Glenys Kinnock is a long-serving Euro MP, who has stood down from the job. This will mean the Kinnocks are a two-peerage family. Unless, of course, she wants to contest the Norwich North by-election after the seat is vacated by Labour's Ian Gibson. Highly unlikely.Simon, from West Midlands says: We need a general election to clear the air if nothing else. Do the right thing Mr Brown and go see the Queen. Have Your Say 1712 Mr Brown invokes his Presbyterian heritage. "I've always been brought up to believe that you have got to act with integrity at all times." He recalls the advice given to him by his father, a Church of Scotland minister: "Always be honest." 1711 Europe minister Caroline Flint - a close friend of Hazel Blears, who resigned so unexpectedly on Thursday, has also quit the government. She will be replaced by Glenys Kinnock - wife of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock. Now THAT is a surprise. JamboTheJourno tweets: I think Brown's acceptance of responsibility potentially gives him the opportunity to start afresh. Read JamboTheJourno's Tweets 1705 The prime minister says he "will not waiver and will not walk away". He adds: "I admit there have been full mistakes made and I accept responsibility." 1703 In response to a question from a reporter, Mr Brown denies he wanted to sack the Alistair Darling, who he insists is a "great chancellor". Kaonix tweets: Gordon Brown looks tired, nervous and utterly unconvincing. Read Kaonix's Tweets 1700 Some further cabinet posts confirmed. Leader of the Lords is Baroness Royall. Tessa Jowell is minister for the Cabinet Office, keeping responsibility for the Olympics. Nick Brown remains chief whip. Oh, and as well as continuing as business secretary, Lord Mandelson is elevated to "First Secretary of State".1657 Emotion audible in his voice, Mr Brown declares: "I believe in never walking away from people in difficult times." He continues: "Yes it was a difficult night, but we fight on for what we believe." He adds that "if I didn't think I was the right person leading the right team", he wouldn't carry on. Ekibyogami tweets: Brown started off sounding like he was going to resign. Disappointed that he didn't continue on that tack. Read Ekibyogami's Tweets 1653 At his Downing Street press conference, the prime minister insists: "We need to create a decent, honest politics in this country." He promises a new independent regulator for MPs. He also says the government will examine the way the UK elects its MPs.1651 UKIP has won a total of three seats in Staffordshire.1650 Lord Adonis, who has served as an education and a transport minister, has been promoted to the cabinet as transport secretary. He replaces Geoff Hoon, who resigned from the government earlier today.
Have Your Say1630 Labour MP Paul Flynn compares the party's situation to 1983, when it "had a greatly loved and respected leader in Michael Foot". Who then, of course, steered the party to a crushing defeat. Mr Flynn suggests that the time has come to depose the Gordon Brown, but "we should do it as gently as we possibly can".Tom from Nottingham says: Can we get back to policy? It's a sad state when the government of the day is decided upon the likeability of the prime minister. Have Your Say 1625 Just when it all appeared to be going well for the Tories, Tim Stoddard - leader of the Conservatives on Cumbria Council - loses his seat to the Lib Dems by 14 votes. 1623 The Conservatives snatch Warwickshire from no overall control. 1622 Harriet Harman will stay in post as leader of the House of Commons, BBC political correspondent James Landale has learned. 1621 The Tories hold Worcestershire. 1620 Ex-minister Denis MacShane doesn't have much to say about Ian Gibson's resignation. "I think that's Ian's personal decision," he tells the BBC through gritted teeth. Mr MacShane suggests British politics currently looks as if flamboyant Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi were writing the script. "We're going to see some surreal results on Sunday, with some very fruity parties emerging," he predicts.Christoph from York texts: It seems to me a lot of the Tory back-slapping isn't deserved. They aren't doing well because they're attractive to voters or because of anything they've done. It's just that Labour have been so awful. 1613 Ian Gibson explains why he is quitting and provoking a by-election: "I do feel angry that I've been singled out without knowing why."Barry from Falkirk says: I give it less than six months before we have a general election and Brown has to go. The resignations today and council results make his position untenable. Have Your Say 1611 North Yorkshire stays Conservative, too. 1610 Back to the local elections. The Conservatives hold Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. 1609 The BBC's James Landale says Dr Gibson - who had been referred to a Labour disciplinary panel - felt he had been harshly treated by his party, as he always insisted he had not broken any rules.1608 Mr Gibson is another casualty of the ongoing saga over MPs' expenses. He claimed for a flat which his daughter and her partner lived in rent-free - and then sold it to them for less than market value. It will be an interesting by-election in Norwich North.1605 The Tories hold Surrey. It looks like Labour has been marginalised even further in the county - retaining just one of its two seats. 1603 Ian Gibson, the Labour MP for Norwich North, is to stand down with immediate effect, triggering a by-election, he tells the BBC.1600 Andrew Lewer, the new Conservative leader of Derbyshire County Council, sticks the boot in. The result, he says, shows Labour is in "terminal decline".Stefan from Hereford asks:Is it cool to be a Tory again yet? Have Your Say 1558 Now it looks like Hilary Benn will be staying at environment. That's another minister staying put. Isn't a reshuffle meant to involve some shuffling? Garry Porter from Huddersfield says: At long last the country has woken up. New Labour is dead. Have Your Say 1555 A press conference by the prime minister is expected very soon. 1553 The BBC's John Hess says: The Conservatives are now just one seat away from taking control of Nottinghamshire. In some seats, the swing from Labour to the Tories has been as much as 15%. Joe from Ipswich says: In yesterday's local elections I voted for the only candidate who could actually be bothered to put a flyer through my door outlining their policies. Politicians and journalists often talk up the effects of so called "voter apathy" but what about candidate apathy? Have Your Say 1550 Margaret Beckett is no longer housing minister, the BBC understands.1549 The Tories now run Lancashire for the first time since 1981. 1549 Ben Bradshaw will be promoted to the cabinet as culture secretary, the BBC has been told. 1547 Shaun Woodward - despite being widely tipped for promotion - will stay in post as Northern Ireland secretary, the BBC understands. 1546 BNP leader Nick Griffin is very happy about his party claiming two county council seats in Leicestershire and Lancashire. "We're very pleased with that because growing in British politics is about being on the ladder and we've already taken seats at the lowest levels of local government and county council is a level we hadn't got to," he says. 1543 More cheer for the Conservatives. They have held Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire.1541 The Tories have now formally taken control of Derbyshire. It's a massive scalp for the party.1540 The BBC's Arif Ansari in Preston says: The Conservatives are just one seat away from taking Lancashire County Council.1539 Liam Byrne is the new chief secretary to the Treasury, moving from Cabinet Office minister, the BBC understands.1536 After the surprise of Mr Hoon's resignation - of which we'll let you know more as soon as we hear it - we learn that Douglas Alexander, an ally of the prime minister, will remain as international development secretary.Charlie in Wolverhampton texts: In 30 years not a single candidate has ever knocked my door campaigning for either local or national elections.1532 Another cabinet minister has gone . The BBC has learned that Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has resigned from the cabinet.1531 Ex-minister Tom Watson has published his resignation letter. He is downright florid in his praise of Gordon Brown. "However spitefully your character is traduced and your triumphs degraded by Labour's enemies, they can never erase the towering achievements to your name," Mr Watson tells the prime minister.1528 BBC political editor Nick Robinson says: I think the Tory party will be relieved that Gordon Brown seems secure. Alan Johnson would have been a more formidable electoral threat, they believe. But they know that their own result was not as good as it might have been.Adam Geraghty from Preston says: I'm very disappointed in all the major parties at the moment. The expenses, the political civil war. What has happened to doing what is best for Britain? Why are the Conservatives keeping their manifesto a secret. If they've got a plan I'd like to be able to know what it is before casting any kind of vote for it, local or national. Have Your Say 1525 Derek Davis, one of the few Labour county councillors now left in Staffordshire, admits the result in his area is a "complete wipeout". Where did it all go wrong? "I think there's been a lack of loyalty from some of the MPs. I think the press has got at us. I think the prime minister may well have got at us - it's all sort of things that's going wrong," he sighs. "We've got to straighten ourselves up."1523 Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University says: One key figure that will bring particular comfort to the Conservatives is that their vote is up by six points in wards where they started off second to Labour, compared with five points across the country as a whole. In addition, the Labour vote is down by as much as 15 points in Labour/Conservative contests compared with 12 points on average across all our key wards. If these patterns were to be repeated in a general election - that is, if the swing from Labour to Conservative was above average in seats where the Conservatives were challenging Labour - the swing that the Conservatives would require for an overall majority would be somewhat reduced. 1520 More on that Doncaster mayoral result. It has been won by Peter Davies of the English Democrats - a significant breakthrough for the party, which campaigns for an English parliament. Willmill82 tweets: Those people who say the Tories can't win seats in the north, where are you now? :-p Read willmill82's Tweets 1509 Poor results for Labour - is there any way back for the party? Justice Secretary Jack Straw thinks so. "I also very powerfully believe that the way we get through this is by being united. We happen to owe it to the millions who have supported the Labour party - but above all to the country - to get through this," he tells BBC Radio 4. 1508 Labour's failure to hold the Doncaster mayoralty means that the party is likely to end up without winning any of the councils or Mayoral contests which were up for election yesterday.1458 Peter Hain is returning to the government as secretary of state for Wales, the BBC learns. 1456 Andy Burnham is the new health secretary, the BBC understands.1455 The Conservatives have gained Warwickshire from no overall control.1454 The smaller parties had high hopes for these elections. How are they doing? With just over 300 key wards declared, the Greens are averaging 12% of the vote. Their vote is up five points on 2005 in those wards that they fought this year and last year. The UK Independence Party is averaging 14% of the vote and their vote is up nine points in wards that they also contested in 2005. However, their average share of the vote is the same as they achieved in 2004. The British National Party are averaging 11% in wards they've fought so far, which is down five points down on their figures for 2004. However, they have won two headline-grabbing seats in Leicestershire and Lancashire.1453 The BBC's Jeremy Vine has been crunching the numbers. If these results were spread across the whole country, Labour would take 23%, the Conservatives 38%, the Liberals 28% and other parties 11%. 1450 The Conservative manifesto is "drafted and ready to go", Tory chairman Eric Pickles tells the BBC election special. But he won't reveal its contents. "It's above my pay grade," the normally deadpan Mr Pickles chuckles. What a tease. 1449 Labour has lost overall control of Derbyshire - a county it has ruled for 30 years. The Tories need another eight seats to take charge of the council. 1449 Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, accepts his party's share of the vote actually dropped in Bristol - even though it was their biggest win of the day. But Mr Huhne says it is simply a question of making the best of the electoral system. "If your rivals are falling faster than you, then you gain," he says bluntly.Brendan from the Isle of Wight texts:It doesn't help the politicians when they talk globally. The average bloke is just concerned with the local and national problems. 1448 The Tories have now officially taken control of Staffordshire County Council, snatching it away from Labour.1446 Ed Miliband will remain climate change secretary, the BBC learns.1446 Tony Lloyd, chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, does not believe backbench rebels will be able to collect the 70-plus signatures they need to trigger a leadership election. "Bluntly and brutally, I don't believe they can get anything like those numbers," he tells the BBC's election special programme currently running on BBC One and the BBC News Channel.Ollsbols from Horsham says:I am a member of the Conservative party. However I'm not keen on an election right now. We need a period of political stability to allow the parties to gather their thoughts, work out their policies and tell us about them so everyone can make up their mind who they are going to vote for. As it stands a vote now is a protest, based on emotion and press coverage which could throw out all sorts of odd results and is not right for the country. Have Your Say Mrcakey tweets:If Nick Clegg can't make serious gains against background of the main parties defrauding us, what hope do we Lib Dems have? Read mrcakey's Tweets 1440 The BBC's Arif Ansari in Preston says: The Labour party has lost 16 seats so far on Lancashire County council - including their group leader - which means they will lose control of the council. In one seat in Skelmersdale, a Labour majority of 1,300 has been turned into a Conservative majority of 165. Bob Stevenson from Montrose says:The problem Brown has is that he always has to be pushed into action. He is a backroom boy not a leader. Other than his convoluted proposals as Chancellor none of which have actually delivered anything, what has he actually done? Hope his last finger nail breaks and we get an election.
1256 Time to catch some breath. For those of you just joining us, it's been quite a morning at Westminster - yet again. Following the shock resignation of Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell last night, ministers have been lining up to support the prime minister. The BBC's David Dimbleby says to shadow foreign secretary William Hague that "Houdini's done it again". Is there a growing feeling that Mr Brown is looking a little safer than might have been expected overnight? Mr Hague disagrees, describing him as "weakened".1250 Discussing early council election results and counts which are still going on, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says his party is having a disappointing time in parts of south-west England but is doing "spectacularly" in some other areas.1247 The BBC has learned that Ed balls is to remain in his post as children schools and family secretary. A close ally of the prime minister, there had been rumours that he could become chancellor, but Alistair Darling is staying put.1241 BBC political editor Nick Robinson says: Although there are some interesting shifts in the cabinet, the top names will look remarkably similar. The attention now moves to the backbenchers. But even if there is a leadership contest, Gordon Brown might fight it.1233 And the first results from Cumbria are coming in - in Barrow-in-Furness Labour have held just three out of 11 seats. The Conservatives have gained five and held one, independents have taken two and the People's Party has taken one.1232 Outside the Houses of Parliament, shadow defence secretary Liam Fox contrasts the government's travails with Conservative gains in the English county council elections. "This is a dysfunctional prime minister reshuffling a dysfunctional cabinet today," he says. "We are making big gains from Cumbria to Devon." Tony from Hastings says: Please would those who think there should be a general election stop declaring that it is what all of us want, or the majority want. You know neither. And how the expenses scandal seems to be blamed on Gordon Brown is beyond me. It demonstrated that some MPs of all parties are either dishonest or too happy to play the system. Have Your Say 1227 The reshuffle continues. Yvette Cooper is the new work and pensions secretary, the BBC understands. 1225 Brent East Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather - who snatched her seat from Labour in a 2003 by-election - says the governing party is finished. "The public have stopped listening to them," she says. "The public know there's nobody governing the country and we've got to have a general election."1223 Labour MP and former Foreign Office minister Meg Munn says it's time for Gordon Brown to go. "He started off very well as prime minister. He's done a great job on the economy, but the other issues are not being put across well," Ms Munn says. "We're not seeing the sort of leadership which I think this country now needs".1220 Speaking about MPs' expenses, the Crown Prosecution Service says that "unless evidence is available which shows individuals deliberately misled the [House of Commons] fees office, it is highly unlikely that there could be a successful prosecution".1215 Speculation that the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills will be merged with the Department of Children, Schools and Families is "wide of the mark," the BBC's James Landale has been told. The old Department for Education and Skills was split into two in 2007 when Gordon Brown became prime minister. John from Maidstone says: Yesterday I surprised myself by delivering a protest vote against the morally void current Parliament. I voted therefore for parties whose views I would not normally share. Had Gordon Brown offered us a general election now, I would not have experienced this sense of disenfranchisement. Have Your Say 1209 BBC political correspondent James Landale says: The big question now is who gets health and who gets the Department for Work and Pensions - John Denham had been tipped for both. We've yet to see any echo of what James Purnell was saying. Everyone seems to be falling into line.Mohamed G. Asaria, Stanmore, Middlesex, says: In my opinion there has never been a clever, straightforward, intelligent and sincere prime minister like Gordon Brown. I have always voted Conservative but next time I will vote for Gordon Brown. I am sure he will be around in spite of corrupt enemies and glory-seekers digging his grave.
Have Your Say1205 John Denham is to be communities secretary - not health secretary, as the BBC was previously given to understand.1203 Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh - who has been agitating for a leadership contest - says some of the ministers who back Gordon Brown publicly are telling a different story away from the cameras. She tells the BBC that "some of the cabinet who have expressed that view don't believe it in private". She urges: "People have to decide about making a stand." 1158 Labour says it has lost overall control of Staffordshire. The party had a majority of just one seat in the authority before Thursday. It has virtually been a clean sweep for the Tories in the county, although UKIP appears to have picked up a seat.1152 Mr Hutton tells the BBC's Nick Robinson that his decision to leave the cabinet and stand down at the next general election is "no big deal". Mr Hutton insists that he has been discussing his decision with Gordon Brown "for some time". He adds: "I'm absolutely committed to supporting Gordon as prime minister and getting a Labour government elected."1146 John Hutton, who has just resigned as defence secretary, will stand down as an MP at the next election, the BBC understands. 1143 Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell says all of the major parties should be worried about the emerging results of the county council elections - not just Labour. "I'm particularly concerned about the increase in the vote for the BNP," he says. "This is a concern to all the mainstream parties." 1141 Punters take note - William Hill have cut the odds that Gordon Brown will be out of Downing Street by the end of 13 June from 4/1 to 5/4. Alan Johnson has gone from 6/4 to even money favourite to take over. 1140 John Denham will be the new health secretary, the BBC understands.1134 The Tories are doing well in Labour-controlled Staffordshire County Council. They've so far gained 11 seats, with 19 out of 21 results in so far. Spirit of Iona, Aberdeenshire says:As a former party member who didn't get a say in GB's election to leader, I have to say he only has himself to blame. He has never had the support of the Labour movement only the parliamentary party, who to be frank have been exposed in the expenses scandal. Have Your Say Another reader says:I have not voted Labour since we went to war with Iraq, but yesterday I voted Labour as a sign of support for Gordon Brown. I did this because he is refreshingly straightforward, modest and businesslike in his dealings. He has not had a single stroke of luck in his premiership, but nevertheless remains calm in his determination to steer the country through difficult times. Have Your Say Cestius says:I think we're seeing the mirror image of what happened to the Tories after Margaret Thatcher left - except that Gordon Brown isn't even up to the standard of John Major. Unless they find a new and dynamic leader soon, and get rid of some of the other liabilities in the Cabinet, I think they could face a decade or more in opposition. Have Your Say 1133 Gordon Brown is getting through this reshuffle. But he'll have to address the gender imbalance in his cabinet after Jacqui Smith and Hazel Blears quit. Yvette Cooper is expected to rise up the ranks and we'll see what happens with Caroline Flint, who backed the prime minister last night. 1131 Yet another frontbencher standing down - but it's from the Tory benches this time. Paul Goodman says he will quit his Wycombe seat at the next election. Writing for his local paper, the shadow communities minister predicted MPs would become "cowed and toiling drudges" as a result of the expenses scandal, and claimed: "Parliamentary elections threaten to become Dutch auctions of self-abasement." He stresses this has nothing to do with his personal expenses, which the Daily Telegraph said were "modest" - although he paid a council tax bill late.1129 Shadow Communities secretary Caroline Spelman insists it the Conservatives who are making advances in local government. She notes that the Tories have just snatched Somerset council from the Lib Dems and was mopping up the "rump of what Labour have in their own heartland". Ms Spelman adds: "People are choosing to vote Conservative."Matt from Lincoln says:How convenient for Gordon that we are all talking about an uneventful reshuffle instead of Labour's disastrous election results. Have Your Say Richard Evans from Maidenhead, Berks says:Isn't it terrible - no matter who wins they are all as bad as each other! Can't we focus on getting people back into work and the cogs of industry turning rather than infighting?