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United Kingdom

Energy downgraded to hands of a junior minister

Under new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Britain's energy portfolio reverts to being in the hands of a junior minister only. "We were hoping to have a proper voice for energy in the cabinet, given the importance of the subject," says the British Wind Energy Association's Gordon Edge. "We are disappointed that we do not have a cabinet minister for energy nor a government department in which energy is the prime focus." Malcolm Wicks returns to the junior minister post after losing it in November 2006 when responsibility for energy was assumed by then Secretary of State Alistair Darling. Energy now comes under the new Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) led by newly-promoted Secretary of State John Hutton. The DBERR replaces the Department of Trade and Industry, with more emphasis now placed on business, promoting competitiveness and better regulation across business, public and voluntary sectors.

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