New children’s minister appointed in government reshuffle

The former Home Office minister who resigned last April amid
claims she misled the House of Commons over immigration controls
has been appointed as the new children’s minister.

Beverley Hughes replaces Margaret Hodge, who leaves the post she
has held since its creation in June 2003 to join David Blunkett at
the Department for Work and Pensions.

As the politician who defended the much-maligned policy to
remove the children of failed asylum applicants as it went through
Parliament, Hughes is likely to be a controversial choice –
particularly at a time when campaigners have identified helping
asylum seeking children as a top priority for the new

Other key changes include the replacement of schools minister
Stephen Twigg – who lost his Enfield Southgate seat in last
week’s general election – with former trade and
industry minister Jacqui Smith. The Prime Minister’s special
adviser on education and public services, Andrew Adonis, has been
awarded a peerage so he can also take up a seat in the Department
for Education and Skills.

Ruth Kelly remains education secretary despite a difficult first
six months in the job and Charles Clarke holds on to his post of
home secretary.

At the Department of Health, John Reid hands over the reins to
former trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt, and former
community care minister Stephen Ladyman moves to the Department for

Finally, a new cabinet-level post of minister for communities
and local government has been created to take on elements of the
deputy prime minister’s workload.

The role, which has been given to former cabinet and education
minister David Miliband, is expected to focus on regeneration
and antisocial behaviour.

Full cabinet reshuffle at

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