David Miliband, promoted from Environment Secretary to Foreign Secretary by Gordon BrownAs predicted by grough, Environment Secretary David Miliband has been promoted upwards by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

David Miliband, promoted from Environment Secretary to Foreign Secretary by Gordon Brown

His successor in the hot seat is former International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, son of the elder statesman of the Left Tony Benn. Mr Miliband takes on the role of Foreign Secretary in the new Brown administration, a role widely seen as reward for not challenging the then Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour leadership contest.

Mr Benn will now have the task of steering through Parliament any legislation necessary to implement the coastal access which his predecessor championed. He was elected MP for Leeds Central in June 1999 and sat on the House of Commons select committee for environment, transport and the regions.

He is married with four children, and lists gardening and watching sport as his hobbies.

Viewed by most as an arch-Blairite, he has spoken in favour of nuclear power. He also says Labour needs to put the environment at the heart of its policies and says he is doing his own bit to combat climate change. He told a meeting of the Socialist Environment and Resources Association: “I want to make a difference personally too. As a human being, not just as a minister.

“I’ve started offsetting my personal flights. And I recently took a screwdriver and turned down the thermostat on the hot water heater at home by two degrees. We recycle. I travel to and from my constituency by train”

He also quotes the Government’s achievements for the environment as crucial: “We have enacted the right to roam, created Natural England, brought in congestion charging, increased recycling from eight per cent in 1997 to 27 per cent today and created the Commission for Rural Communities to speak up for the 9.5 million people who live in the countryside.”

Hilary Benn was eliminated in the third round of Labour’s deputy leadership contest which was eventually won by Harriet Harman.