Lynne Featherstone replaces Norman Baker at Home Office

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Lynne Featherstone has replaced fellow Lib Dem MP Norman Baker as a minister at the Home Office.

Mr Baker resigned yesterday citing differences with his Tory ministerial boss Home Secretary Theresa May over drugs policy and other areas.

On Tuesday it was announced that Mrs Featherstone would take over from Mr Baker as Minister of State for Crime Prevention at the Home Office.

She said: “I am very happy to be returning to the Home Office. I am very proud of what I was able to achieve in my previous role there, not least introducing equal marriage, ending the fingerprinting of children and banning wheel clamping on private land.

“I am also looking forward to continuing my work tackling violence against women and girls and on ending FGM at home and abroad. I have always had a very constructive relationship with Theresa May and I look forward to working with her again.”

In other Lib Dem ministerial changes, Jenny Willott and Mark Hunter have also left the government.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Lynne Featherstone has been an exceptional minister over the last four and a half years and returns to the Home Office, where her tough but liberal approach will be invaluable.”

Last week, Mrs Featherstone was named Ally of the Year at the PinkNews Awards.

The award was presented by fellow Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws.

Mrs Featherstone, who has been the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green in north-east London since 2005, was first appointed to the Home Office as an equalities minister in May 2010.

She launched the consultation by the UK government on introducing same-sex marriage in England and Wales and was the first politician to take part in the Out4Marriage campaign.

She was moved to the Department for International Development in David Cameron’s reshuffle of September 2012.

Last month, Norman Baker told PinkNews that hate crimes are under-reported, and that anti-gay and anti-trans crimes have “not been given the rigorous attention” they need by police.

Mr Baker spoke as the Home Office released hate-crime figures from 2013-2014. From 2013 to this year, there were 44,480 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 5% in the previous period.

He also attended last week’s PinkNews Awards at the Speaker’s Residence in Parliament.