John Healey, the Wentworth MP and Minister for Housing and Planning, has reportedly been handed his dream job in government – Minister for Pubs. Press accounts at the weekend suggested that Healey had been appointed to aid the UK’s 53,000 recession hit pubs. The 49-year-old is said to be thrilled by the role – which he will undertake as an addition to his usual ministerial duties – and is believed to want to champion pubs as hubs of the community. The MP, who is believed to have been personally handed the task by Gordon Brown, said: “Pubs are often at the heart of village life, and are important meeting places for many people.” He will lead a task force of five ministers and their first meeting will take place on Monday. A government source said: “John is the perfect man for this job. He much prefers a pint of bitter to a glass of claret. “There are very few people in the Cabinet you could imagine in a pub on any day of the week. “But you can just picture John at the bar with a pint in one hand, a packet of pork scratchings in the other and darts in his top pocket. “This makes him the perfect person to make this position meaningful and not just a gimmick.” News of the World, p25