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RIGHT-WING SELECTION THREATENS£1BN GRANTS AND BENEFITS

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The Tory Right has been put in almost sole command of the welfare state threatening state benefits and training gra...
The Tory Right has been put in almost sole command of the welfare state threatening state benefits and training grants worth nearly £100 billion a year, according The Times (p2).

The paper interprets the government reshuffle: 'Peter Lilley staying at social security, Michael Portillo's move to employment and Jonathan Aitken's arrival as treasury chief secretary creates a sceptical triumvirate around the welfare state and the politically controversial prospect of radical changes in the years ahead.'

Cuts in housing benefit, workfare and private insurance to pay the mortgages of the jobless are already on the stocks.

In other reaction, Mr Portillo's switch to employment was a body blow to the unemployed, said Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union general secretary Roger Lyons.

Trade union leaders were appalled by the advent of a hard-line Thatcherite to the job, the paper said.

Labour derided the reshuffle as a largely cosmetic exercise, the Financial Times reports (p9).

The changes increases the likelihood of a wide-ranging shake-up on the opposition front bench after the summer recess.

Tony Blair, who is expected to be declared leader today, will delay his reshuffle until the autumn.

The most likely casualty is shadow education secretary Ann Taylor, the paper reports.

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