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United Kingdom

New trade secretary and energy minister among government reshuffle

A shake up of ministers in British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government reshuffle has seen a new head of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and a new energy minister. Alan Johnson replaces Patricia Hewitt as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and Malcolm Wicks becomes the new minister for energy, replacing Mike O'Brien whose nine month stint was all too brief. O'Brien proved to be an enthusiastic supporter of energy policies that would allow wind power to thrive. The reshuffle comes in the wake of May's general election when the Labour party won its third term in office. Wicks' tenure got off to a promising start for the wind industry when, in his first speech as energy minister, he stressed that it was vital that the government sticks with wind energy and rides out vocal opposition to wind farms. "I want there to be no doubt of our determination to push ahead on renewables," he said. Wicks also announced government approval, following a public inquiry of a 65 MW wind project at Scout Moor in Lancashire.

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