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John Denham appointed communities secretary

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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.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • At last. Hopefully a new secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills will appreciate the need to stop preventing people returning to gain 'equivalent qualifications' when we are in the midst of an unprecedented study. Without the financial support many people are left unemployed because they cannot afford to take on the payments required to return to study and 'diversify' their CV, as the government keep claiming would be beneficially to those trying to find new work. Hopefully Mr Denham's 'incredibly authorative' behaviour in the way he managed to change the laws on returning to study equivalent qualifications, will be overturned and be reconsidered at some university/education finance meeting that was supposed to be occurring this year.

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