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Reid to stay on in Blair reshuffle.

PREMIER Tony Blair will grant Scots Secretary John Reid a stay of execution this week when he reshuffles his Cabinet.

But Reid, one of Westminster's most astute politicians, is aware he is on borrowed time.

The Hamilton North and Bellshill MP's political career is not in danger

But Blair is determined to get rid of the post of Secretary of State for Scotland.

The role has existed since 1885. Now the arrival of home rule in a more democratic form is likely to see the job scrapped.

Blair believes recent constitutional changes have made the position redundant.

With it will go the jobs of the Welsh and Northern Irish Secretaries, and instead there will be a Secretary of State for the Regions - who will be charged with ensuring the relationship between the new assemblies and Westminster runs smoothly.

Reid expects to get that job and Westminster sources claim Blair will give it to him.

But with the focus now on Edinburgh, Reid is said to have been applying his mind to how best to redefine the job of Scots Secretary.

One area is cash. Hollyrood may have autonomy on how it spends the money but Westminster still decides how much Scotland gets.
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Author:Deerin, Chris
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 6, 1999
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