Key minister in Brown government to resign

September 24th, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Sep 24 (DPA) A key minister in the British government and long-time loyalist of Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced her resignation Wednesday - a day after the embattled British leader sought to restore his authority with a rousing party conference speech.Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, 40, said she would step down in a forthcoming government reshuffle, expected next week, to “spend more time with her family.”

Kelly, one of the rising stars of New Labour, was first elected to parliament in Labour’s 1997 landslide victory under ex-prime minister Tony Blair.

She has held a series of cabinet posts and served for many years in a senior position under Brown when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1997 and 2007.

Brown said Wednesday he “understood” Kelly’s reasons but there was speculation that the impending resignation could trigger a wider cabinet protest against the prime minister.

Brown sought to deflect criticism of his leadership when he told the Labour Party’s annual conference in Manchester, northern Britain, Tuesday that he was the right man to lead Britain through difficult times.

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