A Midland MP has been given the task of rebuilding Tony Blair's shattered Government.
Jacqui Smith (Lab Redditch) became chief whip in the Prime Minister's reshuffle, making her responsible for restoring party unity and quashing backbench rebellions.
But the Prime Minister sacked Charles Clarke, the beleaguered Home Secretary, in a ruthless shake-up of his Government team.
Mr Clarke took the fall after it emerged that more than 1,000 foreign nationals, including murderers and rapists, had been released from jail without being considered for deportation.
John Prescott will continue as Deputy Prime Minister but lose all his responsibilities, which had included local government.
It means he will continue to sit in the Cabinet and retain his prestigious title, despite having no role in Government.
David Miliband, the Local Government Minister who had been spearheading a review into the possible creation of city regions, was promoted to Environment Secretary.
The task of deciding the future shape of local government will now fall to Ruth Kelly, the former Education Secretary who became Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Mr Blair shunted Jack Straw sideways from the Foreign Office to become Leader of the Commons, and John Reid becomes Home Secretary.