Jack Straw becomes leader of House of Commons

May 5, 2006 18:17

British Prime Minister Tony Blair fired his home secretary Friday and chose a new foreign secretary in a wide-ranging Cabinet shuffle after his party suffered a heavy defeat in local authority elections. Blair removed Jack Straw as foreign secretary, replacing him with Margaret Beckett, who had headed the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Straw will become leader of the House of Commons, taking responsibility for overhauling the House of Lords and campaign finance reform, two big issues. There had long been rumors of tension between Straw and Blair - some reports said the outgoing foreign secretary had privately expressed doubts about the Iraq war, and he publicly took a different stance on Iran than Blair did.

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