16/12/2004

NI-born MP appointed Education Secretary

Prime Minister Tony Blair has appointed Northern Ireland born Ruth Kelly as Education Secretary following the resignation of David Blunkett.

The 36-year-old MP for Bolton West replaces Charles Clarke who in turn takes over the top Cabinet role following the resignation of David Blunkett as Home Secretary.

Born in Limavady, Ms Kelly was educated Sutton High School and Westminster School, before going on to study politics, philosophy and economics at Queen's College, Oxford.

After being elected to the Commons in 1997, she joined the Treasury select committee, and a year later, was made a parliamentary private secretary to Nick Brown, the then minister for agriculture, fisheries and food.

Following her re-election in 2001, Ms Kelly was appointed economic secretary to the treasury and then promoted to financial secretary before becoming minister of state for the cabinet office in 2004.

She is married to local government officer Derek Gadd and has four children.

(MB)

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