Brown suffers further set-back as Lord Malloch-Brown resigns

The Prime Minister - trying his utmost to get the Labour party shipshape for the coming General Election - has suffered a serious set-back as it was revealed today that another minister has announced his resignation and will leave at the summer recess. Lord Malloch-Brown, who was enobled and brought in as part of Mr. Brown's "government of all the talents," puts his decision down to "personal and family reasons". Of the five ministers brought in on that occasion, just three remain following the departure of Lord Carter last month.

News of Lord Malloch-Brown's resignation will not have been welcome to Gordon Brown's ears.

Malloch-Brown, one of the PM's closest allies, has previously undergone close examination when it emerged that he had taken advantage of a grace-and-favour flat once used by John Prescott. He also courted controversy when he battled with President Bush's administration, causing a break with the White House shortly after beginning his time with the Foreign Office.

The departure of such a close friend and ally will further weaken Mr. Brown's already-precarious position at the head of his party. The PM will surely be very disappointed to enter the run-up to the Election without the help of the man who was largely responsible for the success of the G20 summit, an event which dramatically improved his reputation on the world stage.

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