6 Oct

Beckett becomes housing minister

Beckett becomes housing minister

Former Labour interim leader and foreign secretary Margaret Beckett will start work today as the new housing minister.

On Friday afternoon it was announced that Caroline Flint was to leave the post in Gordon Brown's reshuffle to become minister for Europe.

The appointment in her stead of Ms Beckett may be a signal that the government is placing a high priority on successfully implementing various measures and reforms in the housing sector.

Ms Beckett's political CV includes being deputy leader under John Smith from 1992 until 1994 and then being acting leader after Mr Smith's fatal heart attack.

Under Tony Blair she held several senior posts, the last being that of foreign secretary.

The arrival of such an experienced minister has been welcomed by Gideon Amos, the Town and Country Planning Association chief executive, who noted her "vast experience in the cabinet".

Mr Amos urged Ms Beckett to carry on the work Caroline Flint started on eco towns and growth points, stating: "These remain vital initiatives for her [Flint's] successor."
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