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Wills testament

WITH spring in the air, can summer be far behind, and with it a cabinet reshuffle? There's no particular reason why Tony Blair should rearrange his pack but rumour-mongering is a seasonal tradition, so let's get in early.

Some readers may be hard-pressed to recall the name of the Department for Education and Employment's learning and technology minister - indeed, he won't be speaking at any union conferences - but Michael Wills has caught the eye of someone Very Important.

In February, he missed an appointment to adress a computer advisers' conference in Blackpool. Why? "Urgent business at Number 10", apparently.

The same reason came out again last month, when he left Patricia Hewitt, so-called "e-minister" for trade and industry, to hack over to east London to launch a joint DTIDFEE report on the "digital divide". Diary eyebrows are raised.

Not to suggest that Mike never turns up to meetings - he made all seven "classroom of the future" seminars around the country last month. Just the sort of energy Mr Tony likes.

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