Controversial Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly has been retained by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but placed far away from any controversy over her religious views.

Ms Kelly is the new Secretary of State for Transport.

In her previous role at Communities and Local Government she was heavily criticised for delaying the implementation of the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

A devout Roman Catholic, Ms Kelly refused to say whether or not she personally regarded homosexuality as sinful, despite being minister for equality.

A major row broke out in Cabinet earlier this year over plans to give Roman Catholic adoption agencies an opt-out from the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services.

Ms Kelly and former Prime Minister Tony Blair were said to support a faith-based exemption, but furious MPs and Cabinet collegagues defeated the idea.