Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003
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Mr. Cook resigned as the Government's leader in the House of Commons after a private meeting with Mr. Blair, shortly before a meeting of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister's office said. It was not clear if the International Aid Minister, Clare Short, who had criticised Mr. Blair's policy as ``reckless,'' would also leave the Cabinet.
Mr. Cook is expected to lead opposition in Government during a debate in the next day or two over Mr. Blair's handling of the crisis. Although Mr. Blair faces considerable discontent among his lawmakers, he is expected to survive any vote.
Mr. Cook was Foreign Secretary in Mr. Blair's Government in 1997, but was replaced by Jack Straw in 2001.
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