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Fourth UK minister quits

BRITISH media say a fourth member of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government has quit amid the lawmakers' expenses scandal.

The BBC and Sky News reported Wednesday that Communities Secretary Hazel Blears planned to resign her post.

A spokesman for the minister did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Blears has been criticized for making tens of thousands of pounds (dollars) tax-free by selling a home she was using public money to maintain. She later repaid 13,000 pounds (US$21,500).

Brown is widely tipped to shuffle his ministers in coming days. He had described the minister's actions as unacceptable, and was expected to fire her.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and two junior ministers yesterday said they would quit Brown's government.


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