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Politics: The House: Ministers back Jackson for NEC

MO MOWLAM and David Blunkett have nominated Helen Jackson, the Northern Ireland Secretary's parliamentary private secretary, for the elections to Labour's national executive committee.

Ms Jackson, the Labour MP for Sheffield Hillsborough, is understood to have received around 70 nominations, including the Secretary of State for Education's. She runs against the whips' "slate" of three candidates, and her supporters said Cabinet ministers refused to be limited to the semi-official slate. John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, is backing Dennis Skinner in the elections.