Egypt's new cabinet has been sworn in, with the new prime minister promising reforms to placate protesters demanding a deeper purge of former President Hosni Mubarak's allies.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf addressed the nation last night following a reshuffle that was prompted by demonstrators who have camped out in Cairo's central Tahrir Square since 8 July.

Mr Sharaf promised to set up an anti- corruption body and work to end Egypt's 30-year emergency law.

He said the interior minister would appoint an adviser for human rights affairs, and prisons would be open to human rights organisations and civil society to ensure the country was upholding prisoners' rights.

Most of the new names were decided last week. The swearing-in was delayed after Mr Sharaf suffered a drop in blood pressure on Monday and was sent to hospital. He left it later that day after his condition was declared stable.

Protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square have demanded faster political and economic reform, a swift move to democratic civilian rule and the removal from government of members of deposed Mr Mubarak's now defunct party.