Over 20 ministers at risk in UK elections


London : More than 20 British ministers, including cabinet members, are at risk of losing their parliamentary seats in the country’s election on Thursday, an analysis by IRNA has found.

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The composition of the 650-seat House of Commons is already set to be transforming with a record of 149 MPs, including 97 Labour and many former ministers, standing down.

The mass exodus will be added to with opinion polls showing a possible casualty list of up to 100 or more Labour seats, including many held by ministers, being lost in a swing of support to the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats.

Depending on the extent of the backlash, cabinet members like Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw, Scotland Secretary Jim Murphy and even Chancellor Alistair Darling could be at risk.

More so will be Transport Minister Sadiq Khan, who is the first Muslim to attend cabinet meetings, if the swing against the government is approaching the 117 seats which the Tories require to obtain an overall parliamentary majority.

Lower down, boundary changes have placed Environment Minister Dan Norris and Transport Minister Paul Clark in the most hazardous position of being the first casualties.

Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell, Exchequer Secretary Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Cabinet Office Minister Angela Smith, Equalities Minister Michael Jabez Foster and Justice Minister Claire Ward are also vulnerable defending majorities of around 1,000 votes or less.

Another four junior ministers, Phil Hope for health, David Kidney for energy and climate change Jim Knight for employment and Claire Ward for justice, have majorities of less than 2,000.

Precarious majorities of around 4,000 or less are also being defended by two communities ministers Shahid Malik and Ian Austin, two other health ministers Ann Keen and Gillian Merron, a second environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick and minister for the disabled Jonathan Shaw.

With the Tories seeking a swing of at least 6 per cent, Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, Schools Minister Vernon Coaker and another transport minister Chris Mole are also in the potential firing line.

One of the most high-profile casualties expected is former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who resigned from her cabinet post after being embroiled in the expenses scandal and is defending a majority of only 2,163.