Update: 11:45

October 24, 2002

Academe in limbo as Morris bows out
The shock departure from the Cabinet of Estelle Morris barely a month ahead of the planned publication of her plans for higher education brought expressions of regret from senior academics and union leaders. Click for full story

Guileless mistakes of a frank minister
Estelle Morris was never as comfortable in universities as on her natural ground in schools, but it was a series of mistakes in primary and secondary education that caused her downfall. Click for full story

Charles Clarke confirmed as new Education Secretary
Labour Party chairman Charles Clarke was today made Education Secretary after the resignation of Estelle Morris. Downing Street sources confirmed the widely expected appointment shortly before education questions in the House of Commons at 11.30am. Mr Clarke later took his place on the government front bench for education questions.

His extensive political experience includes a spell as school standards minister. Chief-of-staff to former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, Mr Clarke has become one of Tony Blair's trusted lieutenants.

He was educated at Highgate School and later King's College, Cambridge, gaining a BA in maths and economics. Mr Clarke was president of the National Union of Students from 1975 to 1977. After a brief spell as a part-time lecturer in maths at the City Literary Institute, Mr Clarke, who had been a researcher to Neil Kinnock, became his chief-of-staff in 1983. He entered Parliament in 1997 at the relatively late age of 46 and became schools standards minister just a year later.

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