Hazel Blears to head up DCLG

Hazel Blears has reportedly replaced Ruth Kelly as communities secretary heading up the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Although the government has refused to confirm appointments, the BBC website has reported that Kelly has been moved over to the role of transport secretary while Blears, the MP for Salford, has taken over the government department with the dubious honour of introducing Home Information Packs.

Blears was appointed parliamentary under secretary of state for health in June 2001, and promoted within the Department of Health to the role of minister for public health in May 2002.

In June 2003 she moved to the Home Office, promoted to minister of state with responsibility for crime reduction, policing, community safety and counter-terrorism.

In May 2006, Blears was appointed chair of the Labour Party and minister without portfolio at the Cabinet office.

Notable points in her career include her responsibilities as Home Office minister for handling controversial anti-social behaviour orders and police force reform. She also helped push the government’s anti-terror legislation through Parliament.

She was recently forced to defend herself over accusations of hypocrisy after she joined protests against hospital cuts in her constituency.

And despite being a loyal Blairite, she has spoken out about the damaging effect on the government of the cash for honours affair.

The appointment will come as a relief to the Salford-born politian – as well as losing out in her bid for the deputy leader of the Labour Party position, Brown plans to axe her former role as Labour chairman.

Her interests outside Parliament include tap dancing and fell walking.