Blunkett takes over at DWP

David Blunkett has returned to the Cabinet as work and pensions secretary after Labour’s historic third successive election victory.

Other changes see Patricia Hewitt move from the DTI to health, John Reid switch to defence and Geoff Hoon becoming Commons leader.

Chancellor Gordon Brown, foreign secretary Jack Straw and home secretary Charles Clarke remain in their posts.

Blunkett’s return comes less than five months after he quit as home secretary after it emerged that a visa application for his ex-lover’s nanny had been fast-tracked.

Pensions policy will be high on the agenda for the new government, with a major review due to be published this autumn.

Blunkett will also take charge of controversial plans for reform of invalidity benefit.

The reshuffle also sees Alan Johnson take the new post of secretary for productivity, energy and industry, meaning the DTI will be renamed.

The line-up of junior ministers will be announced today.

Reshuffle key points:

  • Patricia Hewitt becomes health secretary
  • John Reid becomes defence secretary
  • Geoff Hoon moves to become leader of the Commons 
  • Peter Hain becomes Northern Ireland secretary
  • Des Browne enters Cabinet as chief secretary to the Treasury
  • Newcomer John Hutton becomes chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • Alan Johnson takes new post of secretary for productivity, energy and industry
  • David Blunkett returns to Cabinet as work and pensions secretary
  • David Miliband takes new post of communities and local government minister as he joins the Cabinet

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