PRIME Minister Gordon Brown’s plans for a cabinet reshuffle have been thrown into disarray with the resignation of five Labour MPs, including three ministers.<br /><br />Home secretary Jacqui Smith, Beverley Hughes, the families minister and cabinet office minister Tom Watson all quit ahead of Brown’s shake-up, which is expected to follow likely heavy defeats for Labour at the European and local elections tomorrow. On a turbulent day in politics, Labour MPs David Chaytor and Patricia Hewitt also announced they would be standing down at the next election.<br /><br />In the wake of the MPs expenses scandal, chancellor Alistair Darling is widely tipped to be replaced by children’s minister Ed Balls. Meanwhile business minister Peter Mandelson could also be promoted, succeeding foreign secretary David Miliband.<br /><br />Transport secretary Geoff Hoon’s future is also still in doubt, although he has repaid £384 after claiming expenses on two second homes.<br /><br />Brown, who must call a general election within a year, faces huge pressure to regain public trust and reassert his leadership. Labour is also trailing badly in the Westminster opinion polls.<br /><br />Shadow foreign secretary William Hague yesterday said: “This used to be the government of the living dead. Now it’s just a row of corpses.”<br /><br />But Harriet Harman, leader of the Commons, said: “It’s not the wheels falling off government.”<br /><br />Smith was first hit by revelations she had mistakenly claimed for two pornographic films watched by her husband. She was also criticised for claiming her main residence was a house she shares with her sister.<br /><br />Watson, a close ally of Brown’s, said he was concerned about the effect of politics on his family life. He is quitting his ministerial position but remains an MP. Chaytor bowed out after claiming £13,000 for a mortgage that did not exist, but Hewitt and Hughes said their decisions had nothing to with the expenses row, citing “family reasons”.