Brown’s keeping them close

The Guardian is live-blogging the Cabinet reshuffle as developments emerge but the key news would seem to be Gordon Brown’s drawing close of putative heir Alan Johnson as Home Secretary. That and Alistair Darling’s remaining as Chancellor. Apparently, the rumour is Woodward for Defence Secretary. Adds Nick Robinson notes – “Three extraordinary personal decisions have shored up Gordon Brown’s position as prime minister.” Update Looks like the rumour was wrong. Bob Ainsworth gets defence and Woodward to stay put. And Peter Hain may be is back as Secretary of State for Wales. More details below the fold. Adds New list Update Another resignation, “Several of the women attending Cabinet – myself included – have been treated by you as little more than female window dressing.” And the new cabinet. With a spoonful of Sugar.From the BBC report [new link]

NEW JOBS:
Alan Johnson – Home secretary
Andy Burnham – Health
Yvette Cooper – Work and pensions
Bob Ainsworth – Defence
John Denham – Communities
Liam Byrne – Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Ben Bradshaw – Culture
Lord Adonis – Transport
Peter Hain – Welsh Office
Glenys Kinnock – Europe (non-Cabinet post)
Sir Alan Sugar – Enterprise tsar (non-Cabinet post)

QUITTING:
John Hutton
James Purnell
Jacqui Smith
Hazel Blears
Geoff Hoon
Caroline Flint
Paul Murphy
Tony McNulty
Margaret Beckett

STAYING PUT:
Alistair Darling – chancellor
David Miliband – Foreign
Jack Straw – Justice
Lord Mandelson – Business
Ed Balls – Schools
Ed Miliband – Climate
Shaun Woodward – Northern Ireland
Jim Murphy – Scotland

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  • The Cabinet will presumably have already discounted the Council election results from England and Wales which are coming in now – see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/elections/local_council/09/map/html/map.stm
    So far, Labour have lost 23 seats. The Conservatives have gained 18.

    Purnell has opened the door wide enough for a “heavyweight” from the Cabinet to go through it. That heavyweight, armed with the Council election results may be about to approach Brown and say “step down or I resign”

    Something will give. My money would be on Brown stepping down after the Euro elections are declared.

  • Meanwhile, at the White House…

    “Get Donald Trump over here right away and start drafting some letterhead for his office!”