Margarett Beckett leaves DEFRA

Margaret Beckett has left her position as secretary of state for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to take a new position at the Foreign and Commonwealth office.  It is not yet clear who will replace her at DEFRA.

In her new role Mrs Beckett will have responsibility for all matters of foreign relation except those regarding Europe.  In a newly created position Geoff Hoon will become minister for Europe.  Jack Straw loses his job as Foreign secretary to replace Mr Hoon as leader of the House of Commons.

Other significant changes include the sacking of Home Office secretary Charles Clarke who will be replaced by Defence secretary John Reid.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will keep his cabinet post, but is to lose his department.

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