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John Hutton, new UK Defense Minister

(B2)The current Trade Minister, John Hutton, will become Defense Minister as part of a deeper reshuffle intended to breathe new life into Gordon Brown's government. He succeeds Des Browne, whose last public appearance was at the informal meeting of Defense Ministers in Deauville. Des Browne is thus released from the government (a compensation position will be offered to him). John Hutton will be replaced in his post by… Peter Mandelson, the current European Commissioner for Trade who is leaving Brussels (after having been to the WTO negotiations without really succeeding there anyway).

A Labor MP since 1992, John Hutton is known to be close to Tony Blair. Minister of Health under Tony Blair, then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (when Plunkett resigned), he is a bit of a man for difficult missions. In addition to Social Affairs, he has always been somewhat interested in security and defense issues; he notably sat on the “Internal Affairs” and “Defence” committee of the House of Commons. In his new post, he will first have to manage a British army, engaged in two difficult terrains, Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the grip of serious financial and material difficulties.

To be continued…


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on “John Hutton, new UK Defense Minister"

  • Stupid question, valid for all our Ministers of Defense on the old continent, can we really be effective at the head of the supreme sovereign institution after having been such a “jack of all trades”?

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