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John Reid told The Politics Show this morning that he would resign from the Home Office when Blair leaves in June, and sit on the backbenches under Gordon Brown’s premiership. The Laughing Cavaliers was quick on the uptake with this story.

Alan Johnson had earlier been on Sunday AM welcoming Charles Clarke’s decision to not challenge Brown, and John Hutton had given his backing to Brown on GMTV.

Despite unsuccessfully agitating for a serous contender to stand against Brown, Reid claimed that Brown told him there was still a place for him in "his government", but that he "made it plain to him" that he wanted to be a supportive backbencher instead:

"Now I’ve done nine jobs in 10 years and I think
from my point of view I think it’s a good thing to be able to go out to
listen, to learn, to discuss, to get back to the grass roots. But also from the point of view of an incoming prime minister. I think
the new prime minister should have the maximum flexibility. He needs
space."

Reid also said that Brown needed more fresh faces in his Cabinet (Roy Hattersley had urged the "appointment of a young, vigorous and obviously able cabinet" in the Observer). So there’s more room for a young gun now, but also for another Scot – increasing the likelihood of Alastair Darling bagging Brown’s current job. 

Deputy Editor

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