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Hoon appointed as transport secretary

Date: 03 October 2008

Geoff Hoon, new transport secretary

Geoff Hoon is to take over from Ruth Kelly as transport secretary following Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle.

However, according to national media reports, Hoon will not be in the job for the long term as he is expected to take over as Britain's commissioner in Europe next year - the role left by Peter Mandelson who becomes secretary of state for business.

Hoon was previously chief whip.

The cabinet reshuffle also sees Gordon Brown create a new department for energy and climate change to be headed by Ed Miliband.

In early reaction to the moves the BVRLA's John Lewis said: "Appointing a transport secretary with the status and reputation of Geoff Hoon demonstrates that the Labour leadership does take this role seriously. We hope Mr Hoon can keep up the momentum on improving road safety and that he can provide some clarity on the Government's approach to road pricing."

Freight Transport Association chief executive, Theo de Pencier, said: "Mr Hoon takes on the transport portfolio at a critical time for the logistics industry. The credit crunch, overseas competition and, of course, the high rates of fuel duty are all taking their toll on an industry which keeps British business moving. The FTA and its members will be looking to Mr Hoon to show leadership and to value the vital role that logistics plays in delivering the UK's economy."