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Kelly Out Blears In

The top force in planning and development, the Secretary of State for Communities, has been one of the many cabinet posts reshuffled by the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Out goes the Opus Dei member Ruth Kelly to be replaced by Hazel Blears, the Labour deputy leadership candidate who managed to come last and during that campaign brought the house down, almost literally, as her headquarters collapsed.

Blears has previously been a home office minister who came up with the government policy of ASBOs, that in one case allowed a newly released from prison car thief (who had been ASBOed as to prevent him going into car parks) being arrested immediately as the exit from prison went through the car park. She has also pushed the governments anti terror legislation through parliament including such things as SCOPA that bans anyone from demonstrating within one 1 kilometre of the Houses of Parliament, despite having spent her lawyering days building a reputation with civil liberties groups.

As an M.P. she has proven to be an ultra-Blairite who has managed to support government policies such as foundation hospitals, whilst personally opposing the reforms she approves that will be carried out in her own constituency. Her coming last in the Labour deputy leadership election was widely seen as a reflection of her standing in the party. Nicknamed by many as "the poison dwarf" and "poodle of a poddle" due to her ability to agree with just about anything Tony Blair would say, it was widely believed she had been put in the running by the Blairites to show up any of the rival candidates as extreme if they went too left wing.

Now her master is gone and Brown is Prime Minister, what Blears will actually represent is a complete unknown - the acid test should be one of the major decisions she is faced with shortly, the 20 Fenchurch Street public inquiry. Blears represents a seat in Salford and has proven to be a pro development voice in the local area - but as she has already shown, what she believes as a local M.P. can directly contradict with the government policies she will support.

Article Related buildings:

20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street
20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street
The White Tower

The White Tower
Hazel Blears
Hazel Blears