Cabinet reshuffle sees Ruth Kelly take on regeneration responsibilities as she replaces Prescott who remains deputy prime minister.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has ruthlessly wielded the axe in the wake of today's poor showing in the local elections by sacking both Charles Clarke and John Prescott.

In the most significant change for the construction sector, Prescott has lost control of his departmental responsibilities but stays on as deputy prime minister. He will be replaced at a new ministry by education secretary Ruth Kelly.

The move could have seismic consequences for the government's Sustainable Communities Plan, and most of the grander regeneration plans that Prescott has spearheaded.

Charles Clarke has been replaced as home secretary by New Labour stalwart John Reid.

Jack Straw has made the same route as Robin Cook, moving from Foreign Secretary to leader of the House of Commons. DEFRA head Margaret Beckett has replaced him.

In another big change for construction, DTI boss Alan Johnson gets education. His replacement has not as yet been divulged.

Labour came third in Thursday's polls, losing about 200 seats to the Tories, one of their worst showings ever.