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Alistair Darling

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable Alistair Darling (born November 28, 1953) is a British politician for the Labour Party, and is Secretary of State for Transport and separately Secretary of State for Scotland.

He entered Parliament in 1987 as MP for Edinburgh Central. He soon became a home affairs spokesman, and at the time of the 1997 General Election had risen to Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and was transferred to the real office after the election. In 1998 he was made Secretary of State for Social Security replacing Harriet Harman who had been dismissed. In 2001, the department for Social Security was abolished and replaced with the new department of Work & Pensions which also took employment away from the education portfolio. Darling headed the department, but was transferred to Transport in May 2002, when his predecessor Stephen Byers resigned after a great deal of criticism. Darling was given a brief to "take the department out of the headlines" and was widely considered to have achieved this. After the rump Scottish Office was folded into the Department for Constitutional Affairs, he was made Scottish Secretary also in June 2003.

Darling has a striking pair of black eyebrows which contrast starkly with his silvery hair. Consequently, critics often compare the minister to penguins, cows, badgers and other black-white animals. Many of these nicknames were previously applied to Norman Lamont, another British politician with very prominent eyebrows.

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Preceded by:
Harriet Harman
Secretary of State for Social Security
Later Sec. State Work and Pensions
1998–2002
Succeeded by:
Andrew Smith
Preceded by:
Stephen Byers
Sec. State Transport, Local
Government and the Regions
Secretary of State for Transport
2002–
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent
Preceded by:
Helen Liddell
Secretary of State for Scotland
2003–
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:End boxsv:Alistair Darling

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