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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 07/98: Cabinet reshuffle  
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EDITIONS
Cabinet reshuffle Monday, 27 July, 1998, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Nick Brown moved to agriculture
Jack Cunningham's replacement as agriculture minister is former union worker-turned chief whip, Nick Brown.

Mr Brown had always been considered vulnerable because of his ill-disguised pro-Gordon Brown stance in the so-called Brown-Blair party divide.

But "Newcastle Brown" as he is known because of his northern roots, is likeable, articulate and intelligent.

Mr Brown, 48, was born in Kent and his first job after graduating from university was as an advertising executive with Proctor and Gamble.

Cleaning up politics

Nick Brown
Nick Brown: Formerly in advertising
Having initially extolled Ariel washing powder, he then turned a fabric softener into a household name with the slogan: "Providing housewives with a softness and freshness they have never known before."

His advertising career ended when he moved into management in a chain of launderettes, but later worked in the legal department at the GMB union.

After entering politics via Newcastle City Council, in 1983 he became MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne East.

His first jobs included being opposition frontbench spokesman on legal affairs, Treasury and economic affairs.

Then he was made deputy to Margaret Beckett, when she was shadow leader of the Commons.

Mr Brown was later an opposition spokesman on health and before the General Election became Deputy Chief Whip.

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