Reshuffle sees Polegate MP given new role

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Polegate and Seaford MP Norman Baker has been moved to the Home Office in the coalition’s cabinet reshuffle.

The Lewes MP, who until Monday had served as transport minister, has replaced fellow Liberal Democrat Jeremy Browne as Minister of State.

Speaking of the promotion Mr Baker told the Herald he was sad to be leaving transport but was due a change after serving in the role for three-and-a-half years.

He added, “It’s a great opportunity and promotion up the ladder.

“I did shadow the home office briefly 12 years ago so it’s not entirely new to me.

“I want to inject a dose of liberalism to the Home Office and take full account of those who are vulnerable such as those who are the subject of domestic violence, children who have been the subject of sexual exploitation and people who have been trafficked.

“We need policies to protect these people.”

The change, which sees Mr Baker become Minister of State for Crime Prevention at the Home Office, sees him given new responsibilities including domestic violence, drugs and alcohol policy, and crime strategy.

Mr Baker was the second longest transport minister since the department was created. During that time he was responsible for doubling the cycling budget, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, the biggest rail investment programme since Victorian times and the electrification of 880 miles of track compared to just nine under the previous Labour government. He has been replaced at the Department for Transport by Robert Goodwill MP whilst Baroness Cramer has taken over as the Lib Dem representative in the DfT.