Shares in BHP Billiton were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading following the news yesterday that it had appointed former Labour minister Baroness Shriti Vadera as a non-executive Director.

Baroness Vadera served as the Minister for Economic Competitiveness & Enterprise under the government of Gordon Brown until October 2009. Before her time in government she worked in investment banking at Swiss bank UBS.

Baroness Vadera will take up her new role on 1 January.

Jac Nasser, Chairman of BHP Billiton, said, "Shriti Vadera's unique combination of finance and policy experience makes her an excellent addition to the BHP Billiton Board. She is highly regarded for her work in the private sector and with governments around the world. Her expertise in global economic issues and extensive experience in Africa and Asia will be a source of invaluable insight as BHP Billiton continues to grow its global business."

By 11:50 shares in BHP Billiton were down 1.05 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 2,499.00 pence per share.