Douglas Alexander takes on e-minister role

UPDATE: E-minister Patricia Hewitt's replacement is to be 34-year-old Scottish Labour backbencher Douglas Alexander

As previously reported on ZDNet, Douglas Alexander, MP for Paisley South, has been named as minister for e-commerce and competitiveness.

The announcement was made late on Monday night. Alexander replaces Patricia Hewitt, who has been promoted to Trade and Industry secretary. Alexander ran the general election campaign with chancellor Gordon Brown, but this is his first ministerial appointment.

It is possible that Alexander's responsibilities will differ slightly from those of his predecessor, who was the minister for "small business and e-commerce". "The ministerial portfolio may have changed slightly as part of the reshuffle," a DTI spokeswoman told ZDNet.

Alexander, who was born in Glasgow in 1967, is strongly behind the government's drive to quickly put all government services online. Speaking last August, when the government announced that one-third of its services were available on the Internet, Alexander warned that "there is still a great deal more to be done".

After studying politics and modern history at Edinburgh University, Alexander moved to the University of Pennsylvania where he worked on the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. He then worked as a parliamentary researcher and speechwriter for Gordon Brown MP, now the chancellor of the exchequer. He is also qualified as a lawyer.

He became member of parliament for Paisley South in 1997 and held the seat in last week's general election -- polling 17,830 (58.39 percent of the vote) -- giving him a majority of 11,910.

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