28/06/2007

Brown overhauls Cabinet

Gordon Brown's first day as Prime Minister saw a radical overhaul of the cabinet which is set to meet today, as several senior Labour party figures stepped down.

Jacqui Smith is the first female Home Secretary and the post of Foreign Secretary went to David Miliband. Fellow Scot Alistair Darling becomes Chancellor.

Alan Johnston is in the hot seat as Health Secretary and Peter Hain keeps Wales but relinquishes the NI for a stint as Work and Pensions Secretary.

Jack Straw takes on the new Justice role, while Hilary Benn takes on the Environment and Ruth Kelly gets moved in to tackle Transport.

The new Prime Minister has created three new departments: A Department for Children, Schools and Families headed by Ed Balls; A Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with John Hutton at the helm; and a Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills with John Denham in charge.

As was widely tipped Douglas Alexander is International Development Secretary and Ed Miliband is Cabinet Office Minister.

Harriet Harman, who is Labour's deputy party leader is the leader of the House of Commons.

The Defence portfolio goes to Des Browne, Northern Ireland Secretary is Shaun Woodward, and Communities goes to Hazel Blears.

Tessa Jowell will take on the Olympics, while Culture goes to James Purnell. Geoff Hoon takes over as Chief Whip from Jacqui Smith.

Yvette Cooper as Housing Minister will attend cabinet as required, as will Lord Malloch Brown.

Departing the cabinet are part heavyweights John Reid, Patricia Hewitt, Margaret Beckett.

Baroness Amos will hand over the party leadership of the Lords to Baroness Ashton.

(SP/JM)

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