Hanson entered the Commons in 1992 as MP for Delyn. From 2001 until 2005, he was parliamentary private secretary to Tony Blair. After this he worked as minister of state for Northern Ireland, then as minister of state at the Ministry of Justice. He moved to the Home Office in the June 2009 reshuffle.
What's his background?
Educated at a comprehensive school in Cheshire and at Hull University. Hanson then worked in the voluntary sector - as a regional manager for Scope and as national director of Re-Solve, the Society for the Prevention of Solvent Abuse.
Where does he sit politically?
Hanson keeps his cards close to his chest. He is generally supportive of the party leadership and rarely, if ever, outspoken.
Is he one to watch?
Hanson has one of the most significant briefs in government. But despite his ministerial experience, he has a low media profile and has yet to establish himself as a Labour heavyweight.
Something I might not have known
He once worked as a retail manager for the Co-operative Society.