Hoon is new Transport Secretary

* Gordon Brown makes appointment * Hoon replaces Ruth Kelly * Faces pressure to ease tax burden on drivers...

Hoon is new Transport Secretary

Geoff Hoon is the new Secretary of State for Transport.

He was appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last week, as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

Hoon succeeds Ruth Kelly, who stood down last week to spend more time with her family.

He has held several ministerial and Cabinet posts in the Labour Government in the past decade and is the MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, a constituency he has represented since 1992.

Hoon faces immediate pressure from motoring groups to reduce the tax burden on private drivers, while hauliers will urge help for the freight industry, which has been hit hard by the high price of diesel.

Trials of local road pricing schemes, which some fear could lead to a nationwide charging regime, are also set to begin imminently.