A former cabinet minister has been given an important appointment at the body which oversees nuclear decommissioning in the UK.

Hazel Blears has been made the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s social value specialist.

She was formally Minister without Portfolio and Chair of the Labour Party between 2006 and 2007, under Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2007 to 2009.

For the last two years she has been a special adviser to Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster.

BECBC patron Marcia Reid Fotheringham said: “Over the past months, I have had the true pleasure of working closely with Hazel on a BECBC sub-committee.

"It’s clear that her knowledge and abilities are vast.

"Hazel has demonstrated her leadership skills and expertise in numerous ways across many organisations supporting many causes.

"However, Hazel also seems to have an exceptional skill of being totally humane as she conducts her work.

"She cares about people. She cares about communities. And she cares about our environment.”

Chair Ivan Baldwin said: “This is recognition of the importance of the NDA’s mission in the sustainability of its communities as well as cleaning up the legacy sites.

"Hazel will be uniquely positioned to help drive continued, purposeful dialogue between the NDA, businesses and the wider community on issues which concern us all.”