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Blunkett stays in Kosovo fall-out

A surprise plan to promote David Blunkett, the Education and Employment Secretary, to the Home Office has been put on hold because of the conflict in Kosovo, according to government insiders.

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, is believed to have been planning to move Mr Blunkett into Home Secretary Jack Straw's job, and move Mr Straw into the Foreign Office, displacing Robin Cook.

That will not now happen because of the implications of events in the Balkans. It is seen that Mr Cook "has had a good war" and that wholesale change would not now be possible.

One education casualty due soon, however, will be George Mudie, the lifelong learning minister. He is expected to go in the Government's reshuffle, expected to be in late July.

One of his last tasks will be to join fellow ministers in publishing the post-16 White Paper on Wednesday. This is being described in Westminster as "a revolution of the like never seen, ever".

FEFocus, 29

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