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BREAKING NEWS ~ UK Home Secretary resigns in wake of visa scandal

[JURIST] British Home Secretary David Blunkett (official Home Office biography here), one of the most powerful ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Tony Blair and the minister responsible for pushing sweeping anti-terror legislation through the UK Parliament in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, has resigned in the wake of allegations that he improperly used the powers of his office to expedite a visa application by the nanny of his ex-lover. Blunkett has persistently denied the allegations, but resigned after an e-mail from a Home Office civil servant came to light urging subordinates to move the application "slightly faster, but no favours." Most recently Blunkett, described by political opponents as one of the "most authoritarian" home secretaries Britain has ever had, had championed the cause of national ID cards. The prospects for that legislative program in the wake of his departure are uncertain. BBC News has more on the resignation, including a timeline of the visa scandal, and is providing live video coverage.

3:30 PM ET - In a cabinet shuffle prompted by Blunkett's resignation, former Labour Party chairman Charles Clarke has been named as the new Home Secretary. BBC News has more. The BBC has also posted video of a post-resignation interview with Blunkett.

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