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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Ministerial changes are unveiled
Shaun Woodward is a millionaire who joined Labour in 1999

Northern Ireland's government departments have been redistributed among the new direct rule ministers.

Outgoing ministers Ian Pearson and Barry Gardiner are joining Westminster departments.

Angela Smith remains, but it looks like it is the back benches for justice minister John Spellar.

David Hanson and Lord Rooker have been made ministers with Shaun Woodward becoming a junior NIO minister in new NI Secretary Peter Hain's line-up.

Ms Smith will be leaving the health department to take over education and trade.

Mr Woodward will be running security, prisons, environment and health.

David Hanson

The 46-year-old defected to Labour in 1999. He lost his job as a Conservative spokesman over his liberal stance on gay rights.

Dubbed a Tory Turncoat by the tabloids, he was once the Conservative Party's Director of Communications and a BBC journalist.

His interests are listed as human rights and regeneration.

His election in 2001 met with cries that he hd been parachuted into an ultra safe seat.

He is married to the Sainsbury's heiress, Camilla, and is reported to have several homes, including one in the United States in the Hamptons, Long Island - where the likes of Jack Nicholson and Paul McCartney are his neighbours.

Mr Hanson, 48, has been given the political development, criminal justice, culture and social development portfolios.
Lord Rooker
Lord Rooker is moving from the Home Office to the NIO

He has been Tony Blair's Parliamentary Private Secretary for the last four years.

He is a campaigner against drug abuse and a fluent Welsh speaker.

Last year he wrote to the prime minister trying to block plans to give the Welsh assembly full law-making powers.

Lord Rooker, 64, has been appointed to agriculture, regional development, and finance and personnel.

His last job was Minister of Regeneration and his interests are housing and devolution. He is said to be a plain English enthusiast.




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09 May 05 |  Northern Ireland


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