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Hilary Benn has been confirmed as the new DEFRA secretary, replacing David Milband who has been promoted to the Foreign Office.

Mr Benn time is a well-known figure in the Labour Party and has previously headed up the Department for International Development.

Politics is in the blood as he is son of Tony Benn, the long serving former cabinet minister and icon of the Labour Left.

But the MP has not inherited all his father’s ideas. Well-used to answering questions about the influence on his political life from his famous father, he describes himself as “a Benn, but not a Bennite”, and is a committed Labour moderniser.

He was educated at Holland Park Comprehensive School, London and the University of Sussex. He was elected to Ealing Borough Council in 1979, where he served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group from 1985-1994, and as Deputy Leader of the Council and Chair of Education from 1986-1990.

• Born 26.11.53, London.
• Russian Studies, University of Sussex.
• Before entering Parliament was a Special Adviser to David Blunkett. Former Head of Policy and Communications, MSF.
• Home Office minister 2002-date. Department for International Development 2001-02. MP for Leeds Central since by-election in 1999. Former member of Environment, Transport, and the Regions Select Committee.
• Former Council Deputy Leader and Chair of Education in the London Borough of Ealing. Patron of Holbeck Elderly Aid and Faith Together in Leeds and Caring Together in Woodhouse and Little London.