29/01/2007

Reid pledges to remain as Home Secretary

Home Secretary John Reid has said that he will not resign from his post, but warned that the Home Office faced further problems.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme, Mr Reid said that it could take two and a half years to reform the beleaguered department, but pledged that he would "see it through".

The Home Office has been surrounded by controversy since last week, when Mr Reid urged judges to take into account the current prison overcrowding crisis when handing down sentences.

Subsequently, two Crown Court judges said that they had decided against jailing two sex offenders because of the overcrowding crisis.

The head of the Youth Justice Board in England and Wales, Rod Morgan, also quit his post on Friday, over overcrowding in youth prisons.

Then, on Saturday, it was reported that the Identity and Passport Service had failed to impose overseas travel bans on 147 people convicted of drugs trafficking.

This was followed by claims in the 'News of the World' that more than 300 registered sex offenders were missing across the UK.

Mr Reid's comments pledging to sort out the problems in the Home Office have raised speculation that he will not challenge Chancellor Gordon Brown to succeed Tony Blair when he steps down as Prime Minister later this year.

(KMcA)


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