HALTON'S MP Derek Twigg has landed a high profile job in Tony Blair's New Labour after a cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of home secretary David Blunkett.
Mr Twigg has immediately started his new appointed as parliamentary under secretary of state for schools, but he insists that his promotion 'will not detract from my constituency duties in the borough.'
Mr Twigg said: 'I am delighted to take up this new post. I have always had a massive interest in education, not just in Halton but in the UK, so it is a real privilege to take on the role of schools minister.'
Mr Twigg's rise in Government hierarchy began when he was appointed to the Chief Whip's Office in June 2002, after previously serving as parliamentary private secretary to two ministers, firstly to Helen Liddell MP as minister of state for energy, and then to Stephen Byers MP as secretary of state for transport and the regions.
Mr Twigg was summoned to the Tony Blair's Downing Street residence were the PM offered him the job as part as a huge re-vamp of the education department that has seen Ruth Kelly appointed secretary of state for education and skills Stephen Twigg appointed minister for school standards.
Mr Twigg, who was elected as member of parliament for Halton in 1997, added: 'It is a great honour for the constituency and I am really looking forward to improving the quality of schooling, not just in the borough of Halton but throughout all the schools in the UK.
'This position may mean that I am a lot busier in Westminster but I will not let the job interfere with my role as MP for Halton. I will still be working in Widnes, Runcorn and Hale and I will be across just as much.' Already congratulations have poured in from schools in Halton.
Paul Grainger, head of Widnes and Runcorn Sixth Form College, said: 'We are really pleased about Mr Twigg's appointment. It will be good for all the schools in Halton and good for the sector.'
Tony Blair's overhaul of his cabinet and various departments will be his last push for the proposed elections next May.
Mr Twigg will now have to take challenging questions from all sides of the House of Commons and the people of Halton may have to get used to seeing him perform regularly on television and at the despatch box.
Mr Twigg did reveal, however, that his colleague David Blunkett, who resigned over findings from Sir Alan Budd's enquiry about claims he fast tracked a visa for Kimberley Quinn's nanny Leoncia Casalme, did 'do a very good job as home secretary'.
Mr Twigg said: 'I was disappointed to see him go. But I do feel that he will eventually make a comeback as he is an excellent minister.'