Following poor results for the Labour Party in the local elections in England on 4 May 2006, British Prime Minister Tony Blair held a cabinet reshuffle the following day.
John Reid moved from Defence to become the new Home Secretary, following Blair's decision to remove Charles Clarke from the position. Clarke refused the offer of other Cabinet positions and returned to the back benches. This was John Reid's ninth cabinet position in nine years.
Margaret Beckett, previously Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was promoted to become Britain's first ever female Foreign Secretary, replacing Jack Straw. Straw had held the prominent position from 2001 and was heavily involved in the War on terror. Straw's departure from his role as Foreign Secretary had not been widely predicted, but the move apparently came at his own request for a change following nearly a decade of service in front-line positions in the Cabinet, first as Home Secretary and then as Foreign Secretary although others have argued that Straw was sacked for his growing allegiance with Gordon Brown and dismissal of military action against Iran. Straw became Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal, and also took over responsibility for reform of the House of Lords and political party funding.
John Prescott remained as Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State, but was stripped of all the departmental ministerial responsibilities formerly associated with the office, apparently at his own request, following the revelation that he had an affair with his secretary. These responsibilities were taken over by Ruth Kelly under the new title of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Jack Straw, formerly Foreign Secretary, took over the Leadership of the House of Commons and the sinecure office of Lord Privy Seal from Geoff Hoon (who became Minister of State for Europe). Responsibility for Reform of the House of Lords and political party funding was transferred from the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.
Alistair Darling, formerly both the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Scotland, replaced Alan Johnson as the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Johnson was moved to become Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
Hilary Armstrong moved from her former function as Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury to become Minister for the Cabinet Office and Minister for Social Exclusion. She also filled the traditional sinecure office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which had been vacant since John Hutton was promoted to replace David Blunkett as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in November 2005.
Alan Johnson, formerly Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, became the new Secretary of State for Education and Skills. He replaced Ruth Kelly, who moved to the new office of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Ruth Kelly, formerly Secretary of State for Education and Skills, became the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. This department took over some functions from the Home Office and the Department of Trade and Industry, especially connected with equality legislation, but the bulk of the department was made up of the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which was run by John Prescott before he lost his departmental responsibilities in the reshuffle, and also takes over the responsibilities of David Miliband, former Minister of State for Communities and Local Government.
David Miliband moved from his position in the Cabinet as Minister of State for Communities and Local Government to become the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He replaced Margaret Beckett, who was promoted to become Foreign Secretary.
Des Browne replaced John Reid as Secretary of State for Defence. He was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury, another Cabinet position. Reid was promoted to become Home Secretary.
The roles of Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland were filled by Douglas Alexander. Both of these positions were formerly held by Alistair Darling, who became Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
Hazel Blears replaced Ian McCartney as Minister without Portfolio and Chairman of the Labour Party. McCartney was demoted to become Minister of State for Trade, attending the Cabinet, but not actively voting in it.
The positions of Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury were given to Jacqui Smith, replacing Hilary Armstrong. Smith was previously Minister of State for Schools in the Department for Education and Skills. Armstrong became Minister of State for the Cabinet Office and for "Social Exclusion", and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Stephen Timms was promoted to Cabinet rank to become the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, replacing Des Browne. Timms had served in the Treasury twice before, in the more junior office of Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and was Minister for Pensions before the reshuffle. This was Timms' first Cabinet appointment.
Geoff Hoon, formerly Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal, became the new Minister for Europe at the Foreign Office. Initial reports billed him as "Secretary of State for Europe", which may have been his understanding at the time he left Downing Street. Although he continues to attend the Cabinet, he had lost his Cabinet vote, and his new position was a substantial demotion.
|Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service||Rt Hon Tony Blair MP||unchanged|
|Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State||Rt Hon John Prescott MP||unchanged|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP||unchanged|
|Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal||Rt Hon Jack Straw MP|
|Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs||Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP|
|Secretary of State for Trade and Industry||Rt Hon Alastair Darling MP|
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||Rt Hon John Reid MP|
|Secretary of State for Health||Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt MP||unchanged|
|Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport||Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP||unchanged|
|Minister for the Cabinet Office and for Social Exclusion and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster||Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong MP|
|Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales||Rt Hon Peter Hain MP||unchanged|
|Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council||Rt Hon Baroness Amos||unchanged|
|Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor||Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC||unchanged|
|Secretary of State for International Development||Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP||unchanged|
|Secretary of State for Education and Skills||Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP|
|Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Minister for Women||Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP|
|Secretary of State for Work and Pensions||Rt Hon John Hutton MP||unchanged|
|Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs||Rt Hon David Miliband MP|
|Secretary of State for Defence||Rt Hon Des Browne MP|
|Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland||Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP|
|Minister without Portfolio||Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP|
|Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)||Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP|
|Chief Secretary to the Treasury||Stephen Timms MP||to be sworn of the Privy Council|
|Also attending cabinet (but not voting)|
|Lords Chief Whip and Captain of the Gentlemen at Arms||The Rt Hon Lord Grocott||unchanged|
|Attorney General||Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith QC||unchanged|
|Minister of State for Europe (in the FCO)||Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP|
|Minister of State for Trade (in the FCO and the DTI)||Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP|