Industry minister suffers minor stroke

IAN MCCARTNEY, the Trade and Industry minister, has suffered a minor stroke, it emerged last night.

The 47-year-old MP told his constituency Labour party in Makerfield, Cheshire, that he had been diagnosed with the condition at the weekend.

A Labour Party spokesman revealed that it was discovered by doctors when Mr McCartney went into hospital for a health check on Saturday.

He had reported feeling ill for several weeks and it is likely that he suffered the stroke without realising what it was.

The minister, who was steering the Government's key Fairness at Work Bill through its committee stage, will not resume his duties for the time being, but will retain his post.An ally of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, he has been tipped for entry to the Cabinet by those impressed at his quiet diplomacy between unions and business leaders on the Bill.