UK Government Crisis Deepens
Gordon Brown looked increasingly beleaguered yesterday after a fourth UK government minister resigned in 24 hours.
When Mr Brown took over as the prime minister from Tony Blair in June 2007, opinion polls gave their Labour party its biggest lead over the opposition Conservative party since before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
But the lead evaporated in October when, after weeks of speculation, Mr Brown ruled out an early election. Analysts saw his indecision as the beginning of his descent in popularity. By late last year Mr Brown's handling of the financial crisis seemed to be reviving Labour's political fortunes but in March they took a serious knock when the home secretary, already under investigation over her expenses, was forced to apologised for using public money to pay for adult films watched by her husband.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper began last month to publish details of MPs' expense claims that have tarnished all the main political parties. However, the opposition Conservatives are seen as having faced up to the issue more effectively.
When Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, resigned yesterday she pre-empted a cabinet reshuffle intended to restore Mr Brown's authority. Her move further undermined the authority of the prime minister and left the Labour party looking seriously damaged on the eve of European and local elections in which it was expected to receive a drubbing.
Jacqui Smith, the embattled home secretary, also confirmed yesterday that she would leave the government in the reshuffle.
上月，《每日电讯报》(The Daily Telegraph)开始曝光国会议员的报销细节，令各大政党都脸面无光。但人们认为，在野的保守党处理这一问题更加得当。