'

New e-minister named

Backbencher Douglas Alexander joins the government, replacing former e-minister Patricia Hewitt

Douglas Alexander, the 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 Labour Party's successful 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.

More to follow.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet news forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.