News special: Miliband appointment - Home Office says farewell tocharity

Stephen Cook

The Home Office lost all its responsibilities for the voluntary and community sector in the reorganisation of government departments that accompanied last week's ministerial reshuffle.

The active communities and civic renewal aspects of Home Office work have been transferred to the new Department for Communities and Local Government, headed by Ruth Kelly.

Those functions will now be carried out alongside regeneration, neighbourhood renewal and local government work. Equality policy will also be united in the DCLG, successor department to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The other Home Office responsibilities go to the new office of the third sector in the Cabinet Office, where Hilary Armstrong will be Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Minister for Social Exclusion.

Armstrong will take overall responsibility for the third sector, with support from Ed Miliband as Parliamentary Secretary.

The plan is for them to draw together the parts of Whitehall that currently deal with voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises.

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