British transport minister to step down

September 24, 2008 12:00 am

, LONDON, September 24 – British Transport Minister Ruth Kelly has informed Prime Minister Gordon Brown she intends to leave the government for family reasons, British media reported on Wednesday.

The reports by several British media outlets came a day after Brown delivered a key speech at his Labour Party’s annual conference seen as having helped stave off a nascent rebellion.

Kelly plans to leave her post in a government reshuffle expected to take place soon, PA reported sources close to the minister as saying.

The reshuffle could take place on October 3, after the opposition Conservatives’ annual conference.

Opinion polls have shown the Conservatives far ahead of Labour. The next general election must be held by mid-2010.

Kelly has decided to leave the government for family reasons.

"It is not true to say that (Kelly) has resigned. She has told the prime minister she intends to step down at the next cabinet reshuffle, purely for family reasons," said an unnamed source quoted by PA.

Downing Street refused to comment on the reports.

The prime minister was due to travel to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

Brown, who took over as prime minister from Tony Brown just 15 months ago without facing voters in an election, has faced growing discontent within his party over its slumping poll numbers.


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