Public Affairs: Lobbying target - John Healey, minister for local government

Healey is seen by many as the real driving force behind local government policy and reform.

- Ten-second biography

Healey entered the Commons in 1997 and was made parliamentary private secretary to Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, in 1999. He was appointed financial secretary to the Treasury in May 2005. Moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government in June 2007.

- What is his background?

Born in Wakefield and educated at comprehensive school and Christ's College, Cambridge. After graduating, Healey worked for charities including the Royal National Institute for the Deaf and MIND. He went on to work for the PR firm Issue Communications before becoming campaigns director at the TUC.

- Where does he sit politically?

Regarded as a moderate, Healey was a loyal aide to Brown but is well liked on all sides of the Labour Party.

- Why is he one to watch?

One of the more cerebral ministers in Government and seen as a key finance brain outside the Treasury, Healey played a significant role in the recent recouping of local government money from Icelandic banks. Will play a key role in dishing out the millions of pounds the Government is planning to spend on economic development.

- Something I may not have known

For two years running, Healey has been the Local Government Chronicle's 'most influential person in local government' - beating his boss Hazel Blears.

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