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Party leader Charles Kennedy today announced the following changes to the Liberal ...
Party leader Charles Kennedy today announced the following changes to the Liberal

Democrat shadow cabinet:

Former Sutton LBC member Paul Burstow becomes shadow health secretary;

Vince Cable becomes shadow chancellor; Mark Oaten takes over as shadow

home secretary; Simon Hughes will be spokesperson for London as well as London mayoral candidate.

John Thurso will combine shadow transport and Scotland secretary; Don

Foster becomes shadow secretary for culture, media and sport; Sandra

Gidley will be spokesman for older people as well as shadow minister for


Tom Brake joins the shadow cabinet as shadow secretary for international

development; Malcom Bruce rejoins the shadow cabinet as shadow secretary

for trade and industry. Evan Harris, Nick Harvey, Archy Kirkwood and Jenny Tonge are all stepping down.

Mr Kennedy said:

'I am delighted to confirm this revised set of appointments, consisting of

the parliamentary team which will take us forward to the next general


The Liberal Democrats go into the new parliamentary season both united and

determined, positive and outward-looking. We are ready to compete even more

effectively with the other two parties and argue with sincerity and

persuasion for our vision of an improved Britain.

The party conference season, which followed the remarkable Brent by-election

campaign, has confirmed a Labour government riven with rivalries and a

Conservative party consumed with bitterness. The contrast with the Liberal

Democrats could hardly be more pronounced.

The new team provides the appropriate blend of experience and youth which is

the hallmark of our party. I look forward with fresh enthusiasm to the great

challenges and opportunities ahead.'

Leader The Rt Hon. Charles Kennedy


Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of

State for Foreign and Commonwealth

Affairs The Rt Hon. Menzies Campbell MP

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Mike Moore MP

Shadow Secretary of State for

International Development Tom Brake MP

Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable MP

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws MP

Shadow Home Secretary Mark Oaten MP

Shadow Health Secretary Paul Burstow MP

Shadow Education and Skills Secretary Phil Willis MP

Shadow Transport and Scotland Secretary John Thurso MP

London Mayoral Candidate and

Spokesperson for London Simon Hughes MP

Chair of the Parliamentary Party* Matthew Taylor MP

Shadow Office of the

Deputy Prime Minister Edward Davey MP

Shadow Environment Secretary Norman Baker MP

Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary Andrew George MP

Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Steve Webb MP

Shadow Defence Secretary Paul Keetch MP

Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary Malcolm Bruce MP

Shadow Welsh Secretary and Shadow

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Lembit Opik MP

Shadow Culture, Media and Sport

Secretary Don Foster MP

Shadow Leader of the House Paul Tyler MP

Chief Whip Andrew Stunell MP

Shadow Minister for Women and

Spokesman for Older People Sandra Gidley MP

Leader in the Lords The Rt Hon. Baroness


Chief Whip in the Lords Lord Roper

*Elected position subject to confirmation by the parliamentary party.

* Lord Dholakia, President of the Liberal Democrats and Lord

Razzall, Chair of the Campaigns and Communications Committee, are also

invited to attend Shadow Cabinet meetings by virtue of party office.

Details of consequential changes of shadow ministerial responsibilities will

follow in due course.


* Matthew Taylor MP has been asked to oversee the preparation

of the next General Election manifesto which he will co-author with Dr

Richard Grayson, Director of Policy.

* Evan Harris MP is leaving the Shadow Cabinet for personal

reasons. His partner was recently diagnosed with a serious form of cancer.

He hopes to return to the Shadow Cabinet at some time in the future .

* Sir Archy Kirkwood MP wishes to concentrate on his existing

parliamentary duties as a Select Committee Chairman and a member of the

House of Commons Commission.

* Jenny Tonge MP has already announced that she won't be

contesting the next General Election and had indicated before the recess

that she wanted to step down from the Shadow Cabinet.

* Nick Harvey MP also announced before the recess his

intention to step down from the Shadow Cabinet.

* Number of members of Shadow Cabinet has been reduced from 29

to 25.

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