Brown appoints Darling as chancellor

Gordon Brown has appointed Alistair Darling as chancellor.

Although the government has refused to confirm appointments, the BBC website has reported that Darling has been offered the Browns former role.

Darling will relinquish his current role as secretary for trade and industry, a position he was only appointed to in May last year, to john Hutton.

He previously worked in the Treasury as shadow chief secretary from July 1996 to April 1997, before being promoted to chief secretary to the Treasury in May 1997.

He was secretary of state for social security between July 1998 and June 2001, secretary of state for the Department of Work and Pensions from June 2001 to May 2002, and secretary of state for transport and secretary of state for Scotland between May 2002 and May 2006.

He has said that if he is remembered, he would like it to be “as the minister who began to eradicate poverty”.

But Darling was one of the targets of angry pensioners who were outraged when their pensions were raised by only 75p last year.

He is famed for shaving off his beard and it was commented that facial hair is not very New Labour.

Interestingly, the privately-educated MP opposed a proposal by the then Conservative MP Nicholas Budgen to make the Bank of England independent of the government – although independence was one of the first acts of his new PM after the Labour government gained power in 1997.