Long and respected career in politics and union movement
ORIGINALLY a postman, Alan Johnson, pictured, joined the Union of Communication Workers and was elected to the branch committee in 1973.
He became the union's youngest general secretary in January 1992.
In January 1995, when the union merged with the National Communication Union, Alan Johnson became Joint General Secretary.
He was elected Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle in 1997.
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Following a number of ministerial positions, he was offered his first cabinet role in 2004 as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions before becoming Secretary of State for Trade and Industry a year later.
When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, Mr Johnson was made Secretary of State for Health.
Two years later, he was appointed Home Secretary.
In 2010, new leader Ed Miliband asked Mr Johnson to serve as his Shadow Chancellor, a role he carried out until his resignation from the Shadow Cabinet for personal reasons in January 2011.