John Denham appointed communities secretary
John Denham, MP for Southampton Ithchen has replaced Hazel Blears as communities secretary
Denham will leave his post of Secretary of State for Innovation, University and Skills after two years in the role. He has previously held the posts of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Social Housing and Minister of State at the Home Office.
Welcoming the move, Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said: ‘John is an extremely experienced minister with a strong history. He is an incredibly authoritative figure and we hope he will be able to make some of the tough changes and big decisions needed if we are to begin to rebuild our communities and stimulate new growth and regeneration across our towns and cities.’
Hazel Blears announced on 3 June that she would step down as Communities Secretary. The Salford MP had been under pressure over expense claims, despite paying back over £13,000 to the parliamentary office after claims she avoided capital gains tax over a property sale.