New education secretary appointed to replace Ruth Kelly

Tony Blair has named Alan Johnson as the new education secretary, as part of his Cabinet reshuffle.

Johnson’s appointment marks his return to the Department for Education and Skills after an absence of almost two years, during which time he has held posts as work and pensions secretary and, most recently, trade and industry secretary

Prior to that, the MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle was minister for lifelong learning, higher and further education between June 2003 and September 2004.

Johnson replaces Ruth Kelly, who has come under pressure in recent months over the controversial education bill currently going through Parliament, and over the revelation in January that ministers in her department had cleared a number of people on the sex offenders’ register to work in schools.

Kelly is expected to take over some of the responsibilities formerly looked after by deputy prime minister John Prescott, including communities and local government.

Charles Clarke has been replaced at the Home Office by former defence secretary John Reid, following weeks of negative media coverage over the deportation of foreign criminals.


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