Friday, October 3, 2008

John Hutton will succeed Des Browne as Secretary of State for Defence, 10 Downing Street has confirmed today, 3 October 2008.

John Hutton appointed Defence Secretary

A Defence Policy and Business news article
3 Oct 08

John Hutton will succeed Des Browne as Secretary of State for Defence, 10 Downing Street has confirmed today, 3 October 2008.

Rt Hon Des Browne MP departs MOD after nearly two-and-a-half years as Defence Secretary.

Mr Hutton said today:

"I feel privileged to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Defence, and I am very much looking forward to the job. It is not a role I take on lightly. Our armed forces and the civilians who support them are engaged in hugely important endeavours around the world, keeping our country safe, while exposing themselves in often very dangerous conditions.

"I see my role as ensuring that all our soldiers, sailors and airmen, whether at home or abroad, are trained, equipped and supported to the highest possible standard, while their families too get the support and respect they deserve. My two overriding priorities will therefore be success on operations and looking after our people, and these will govern all that I do.

"I pay tribute to my predecessor, Des Browne, who in more than two years in this post did so much to drive forward both these agendas. His robust determination has ensured that our troops on operations have never been so well equipped, while the Service Personnel Command Paper has set out a framework for improving the way the Government supports the armed forces and their families. I am determined to build on his achievements.

"I have always been a great admirer and student of the British armed forces, and of the Ministry of Defence as a whole. I believe that you are the best in the world at what you do. I know that real challenges lie ahead, but I know too that I will be able to count on your support and guidance in meeting them head on. I look forward to working with you, and to meeting as many as possible of you in the weeks ahead."

The Rt Hon John Hutton MP was appointed Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence on 3 October 2008.

Since June 2007, Mr Hutton has been Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and prior to that he had been Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from November 2005.

Mr Hutton was made a member of the Privy Council in 2001 and in May 2005 entered the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Before his election to Parliament he was a Senior Law Lecturer at the University of Northumbria and from 1994 to1997 he served on the Select Committee for Home Affairs.

Between 1997 and 1998 Mr Hutton was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Margaret Beckett, both while she was President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and in her role as President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons. He was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in October 1998.

Mr Hutton was born on 6 May 1955 and was educated at Westcliffe High School and Magdalen College Oxford. He is married to Heather Rogers and they have three sons and one daughter.

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