Profile: Kevin Brennan, the new third sector minister

It may be apt that as charities begin to feel the brunt of the economic downturn, the person to inherit the third sector brief in Whitehall is a former economics teacher.

Kevin Brennan, who on Monday replaced Phil Hope as Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office with responsibilities for the third sector, taught at Radyr Comprehensive School in Cardiff from 1985-1994 and also enjoyed a spell as a journalist in the 1980s.

He joined Rhodri Morgan MP's office as a research officer in 1995, and was later appointed special adviser to Morgan when he became Welsh First Minister in 2000. Brennan entered Parliament at the 2005 General Election as member for Cardiff West.
As a backbencher he was generally loyal to the government but did rebel over the Iraq War in 2003.

He joined Tony Blair's government as an assistant whip in 2005 and when Gordon Brown assumed the Premiership, Brennan was appointed children's minister in the new Department for Children, Schools and Families.

He was responsible for the development of ContactPoint, the government database that will contain details of every child in England and be accessible by 330,000 vetted users. The project has prompted concerns over security and its introduction was delayed for a second time last month.

Brennan is chair and founding member of the All-Party Parliamentary on Muscular Dystrophy and also formed cross-party Parliamentary rock group, MP4.

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