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Stiletto-wearing sexy British minister booted from cabinet


London : A British woman minister who once posed for a magazine photo shoot in a provocative pose wearing a short red dress has quit, complaining the prime minister treated women as “female window dressing”.

“You have a two-tier government, your inner circle and then the remainder of cabinet,” Europe Minister Caroline Flint said in a letter to British premier Gordon Brown, hours after he ignored her for promotion Friday.

“Several of the women attending cabinet – myself included – have been treated by you as little more than female window dressing,” added Flint, who had declared fierce loyalty to Brown Thursday night.

She announced her move just as the beleaguered British leader faced cameras in a live press conference following a cabinet reshuffle prompted by rebel ministerial resignations aimed at forcing Brown to step down.

The pro-Labour Guardian newspaper, frontpaging a much-reproduced photograph of Flint in a short red dress and red stilettos reclining on a sofa, said Saturday Brown “has never been a great admirer of Flint’s political abilities”.

“Downing Street’s views of Flint was reinforced last month when she posed for a series of model-style shots in Observer Woman magazine” – a sister publication of The Guardian.

“Figures close to Brown were irritated that Flint was finding time to pose for the cameras while they felt she had yet to master the highly intricate details of her brief as Europe minister,” the paper said.

Flint, 47, is often described as one of Britain’s sexiest politicians, and has often been photographed arriving at 10 Downing Street in slit skirts or knee-high boots.

The Daily Mail said Saturday: “Last year, the Europe minister pulled off the impressive feat of stealing the Budget Day headlines from the Chancellor by strolling up Downing Street in a skirt split to the thigh.

“Just weeks ago, she sent male pulses racing in Westminster by draping herself over furniture in a sexy evening dress and stiletto heels for a magazine photoshoot.

“But after the photoshoot for the Observer she complained that her looks were an unhelpful distraction.”