Maria Miller Named New British Arts, Media and Culture Minister

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She replaces Jeremy Hunt, who was a key witness in the Leveson Inquiry and will now become health secretary.

LONDON - Maria Miller is the new British Arts, Media and Culture Minister.

The appointment of Miller, who has so far srved as Minister for Disabled People, was part of a broad government reshuffle announced on Tuesday. In the shuffle, Jeremy Hunt, who has so far held the post in the cabinet of Prime Minister David Cameron, was named health secretary.

Born in 1964, Miller studied economics at the London School of Economics and then worked as an advertising executive at ad agency Grey Advertising from 1985 until 1990. She then served as marketing manager at Texaco 1990-1994 before going back to Grey as company director 1994-1999 and eventually going into politics. She has one daughter and two sons.

Her appointment to run the media and culture ministry is a promotion expected to put the politician, who grew up in Wales, into the spotlight. It will see her continue to oversee a department with broad responsibilities despite recent talk that Hunt's duties could be split up in a reshuffle. Miller will also become minister for women and equalities in addition to her media and culture duties.

Hunt was in the spotlight during the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and standards here earlier this year amid criticism that he seemed too friendly with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. when he reviewed the conglomerate's bid for full control of pay TV giant BSkyB. He later said he had "learned my lesson" from the case. Hunt, seen as a rising star before joining the government, was more recently lauded for contributing to the successful London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Political observers here suggested that Hunt's new role meant a promotion. That triggered speculation that Hunt would be cleared of any wrongdoing in the final Leveson report.

That report will be one of the early issues Miller will have to deal with as the government will have to consider any potential remedies to current regulation that Leveson may suggest.

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