The first Cabinet appointments made by new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were announced Thursday, and they include some surprises.
Mrs Jacqui Smith is to become Britain's first woman Home Secretary, Downing Street sources confirmed to the British media.
Earlier, David Miliband, the former Environment Secretary was confirmed as Foreign Secretary in place of Margaret Beckett. At 41, he is the youngest person to hold the post since David Owen in 1977. His appointment will be seen by some as a reward for not running against Brown in the Labour leadership contest.
Des Browne stays on as Britains Defence Secretary. Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain keeps his place in the Cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary.
The new Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Secretary) is tipped to be Alistair Darling, according to the BBC and the satellite TV station "Sky News." Alan Johnson will be the new Health Secretary. Deputy leadership candidate Hilary Benn, former International Development Secretary, becomes Environment Secretary. Douglas Alexander gets Benns old job as International Development Secretary. James Purnell takes over from Mrs Tessa Jowell as Culture Secretary.
The Cabinet appointments indicate clearly that most of former Prime Minister Tony Blairs key ministers are leaving office.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey Hoon is to become Labours business manager at the House of Commons. Baroness Amos, the minister responsible for the House of Lords affairs, has been nominated by Brown to become the EUs Special Representative at the African Union.
Baroness Williams, who left the Labour party and joined the opposition Liberal Democrats, is to be a government advisor. It is not yet known who will replace Hain as Northern Ireland Secretary. It is unlikely that a replacement will be announced for outgoing Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, the BBC said.
In another development, Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary who oversaw Browns campaign to become Labour leader, is widely tipped to replace Lord Falconer as Justice Secretary. Mrs Ruth Kelly is named as Transport Secretary.
Mrs Hazel Blears has been named as Communities and Local Government Secretary, Downing Street said. The Department of Trade and Industry is to be renamed the Department for Business and Enterprise, Downing Street said. John Hutton is to be the new minister leading the department.
Last Mod: 29 Haziran 2007, 00:48