Cabinet re-shuffle sees John Denham and Alan Johnson move posts

Health secretary Alan Johnson will replace Jacqui Smith as home secretary, as part of prime minister Gordon Brown’s re-shuffle to save the Labour Party’s reputation.

Chancellor Alistair Darling will stay in his job, and Jack Straw will remain justice secretary, according to reports.

The news comes less than 12 hours after work and pensions secretary James Purnell quit the government and told Brown to leave “for Labour’s sake”.

Cabinet ministers including defence secretary John Hutton and equality minister Harriet Harman have been publicly declaring their support for Brown after Purnell’s shock resignation.

Details of the cabinet re-shuffle are expected to unfold within hours. Personnel Today will keep you updated.

[12:26 – Update]

In the last couple of hours it has been announced that skills secretary John Denham will replace Hazel Blears as communities secretary, while defence secretary John Hutton has quit the cabinet. It was originally thought that Denham would become health secretary.

Business mogul and TV’s The Apprentice star Alan Sugar has also be named as the new business and enterprise tsar, after his appearance yesterday at Downing Street sparked rumours he was set for a government job.

Personnel Today will continue to keep you updated.

[14.20 – Update]

Yvette Cooper, chief secretary to the Treasury, will replace James Purnell as work and pensions secretary.

[15.30 – Update]

Bob Ainsworth, a junior defence minister and MP for Coventry, has been named as the new defence secretary, replacing his former boss John Hutton.

[16.00 – Update]

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has quit the cabinet.

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