In a further reshuffle of the Labour Party, Tony Blair has appointed Dorset South MP, Jim Knight as schools minister, replacing Jacqui Smith who was promoted to chief whip.

The former minister for rural affairs has an important role for the gay community as he will be in charge of the remit for tackling homophobic bullying in schools as well as sex education.

He has voted positively for gay rights in parliament, supporting adoption for gay couples and civil partnerships.

The politician could take some advice from the Conservative Party’s anti-homophobia bullying campaigns in local authorities such as Barnet

Conservative Party chairman, Francis Maude, told PinkNews.co.uk in April after a poll revealed an increase in gay Tory support, “If they saw what Conservative-controlled Barnet Council has done, for example, by way of introducing policies to tackle homophobic bullying in the playground and in the workplace, they would see a Conservative Party increasingly aware of the problems and determined to tackle them.”

Mr Knight will also have the challenging task of defending education reforms, exam results, and tuition fees.

He will be backed by Secretary of State for Education, Alan Johnson, who as Secretary of State for the Department for Trade and Industry helped introduce the equality bill which guarantees the supply of goods and services to everyone regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation.

Parmjit Dhanda, MP for Gloucester, has been appointed minister for children, young people and families.