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(来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

UK Government Crisis Deepens
英国政府出现“辞职潮”

Gordon Brown looked increasingly beleaguered yesterday after a fourth UK government minister resigned in 24 hours.

When Mr Brown took over as the prime minister from Tony Blair in June 2007, opinion polls gave their Labour party its biggest lead over the opposition Conservative party since before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

But the lead evaporated in October when, after weeks of speculation, Mr Brown ruled out an early election. Analysts saw his indecision as the beginning of his descent in popularity. By late last year Mr Brown's handling of the financial crisis seemed to be reviving Labour's political fortunes but in March they took a serious knock when the home secretary, already under investigation over her expenses, was forced to apologised for using public money to pay for adult films watched by her husband.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper began last month to publish details of MPs' expense claims that have tarnished all the main political parties. However, the opposition Conservatives are seen as having faced up to the issue more effectively.

When Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, resigned yesterday she pre-empted a cabinet reshuffle intended to restore Mr Brown's authority. Her move further undermined the authority of the prime minister and left the Labour party looking seriously damaged on the eve of European and local elections in which it was expected to receive a drubbing.

Jacqui Smith, the embattled home secretary, also confirmed yesterday that she would leave the government in the reshuffle.

英国首相戈登•布朗(Gordon Brown)的处境越来越不妙,24小时之内已有4位部长辞职。

2007年6月,布朗接替托尼•布莱尔(Tony Blair)就任首相时,他们所在的工党在民调中领先反对党保守党的点数,达到2003年入侵伊拉克之前以来的最大值。

但经过数周的猜测后,布朗在10月份宣布不会提前举行选举,此时工党的领先优势就已荡然无存。分析师认为,布朗的犹豫不决,是其民意支持率下滑的起源。去年年末,布朗应对金融危机的举措,似乎为工党的政治命运重新注入了活力。然而,今年3月,已经因开支问题正在接受调查的内政大臣,不得不对用公款支付丈夫观看成人影片的费用进行道歉,令工党受到沉重打击。

上月,《每日电讯报》(The Daily Telegraph)开始曝光国会议员的报销细节,令各大政党都脸面无光。但人们认为,在野的保守党处理这一问题更加得当。

社区与地方事务大臣黑兹尔•布莱尔斯(Hazel Blears)昨日辞职。她这一招赶在布朗重组内阁以恢复权威之前。此举进一步削弱了布朗的威信,令工党在欧洲及地方选举前夕大伤元气。预计工党在选举中将遭到惨败。

内政大臣雅基•史密斯(Jacqui Smith)昨日也证实将在重组中离开政府。

 
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