Gordon Brown makes radical cabinet changes on first day as prime minister

Gordon Brown has unveiled a radically different new cabinet on his first day as prime minister, including Yvette Cooper in the newly-created post of housing minister.

Now separated from communities and local government, housing becomes part of the cabinet for the first time, with Cooper in the top role. Former communities and local government secretary Ruth Kelly has moved to transport, replaced in the role by Hazel Blears.

Cooper’s husband Ed Balls, thought to be Brown’s closest political ally, has been appointed secretary of the new Schools and Children Department while former education minister Alan Johnson will be in charge of health. Peter Hain has been appointed secretary of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Gordon Brown

Alistair Darling becomes chancellor of the exchequer, David Miliband foreign secretary and former chief whip Jacqui Smith has been promoted to the country’s first female home secretary.

Another relative newcomer, James Purnell, has taken over from Tessa Jowell as culture secretary. It is not yet clear whether Purnell will oversee the Olympics or whether there will be a new post created for the project.

More details about the new cabinet and its responsibilities are expected to follow.