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Leading article: We'll miss you, Hazel

The resignation of the Communities Secretary, Hazel Blears, was probably only a matter of time in the light of revelations about her flat-buying and tax arrangements. We bid her a regretful farewell nonetheless. One of the first to be exposed in the expenses scandal, she was also among the first to realise how such conduct appeared to the voters and to volunteer to pay money back. If she feels more harshly treated than some of her fellow-ministers, she would not, in our book, be completely wrong.

Ms Blears fully justified her appointment to a demanding and often sensitive post. With her flame-red hair, her motorbike and her repartee, she also emerged as one of the few genuine characters in this Parliament, where shades of grey have been the dominant hues. We hope she stands for re-election as an MP when the time comes, and loses none of her energy or outspokenness in the meantime. As Frank Field and others have shown, back-bencher is also a noble calling.