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Tuesday, 2 June, 1998, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Hague's junior frontbenchers are young and to the right
Alan Duncan
Alan Duncan takes up a new role as the junior shadow at health
Conservative leader William Hague has chosen seven MPs elected during the 1997 general election to join his shadow cabinet team: five as junior ministers, one as party deputy vice-chairman and the seventh in the whips office.

The key position handed to these relatively unknown MPs is being given to Andrew Lansley who will take up a post working alongside the new deputy leader Peter Lilley on policy renewal. Mr Lansley was a former director of the Conservative Research Department.

David Prior, previously mainly known as the son of the former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Prior - and as an advocate of reforming the law on cannabis - will look after party's administration.

The remaining members of the class of 1997 joining the Tory frontbenches include Oliver Letwin (constitutional affairs), Keith Simpson (defence), Philip Hammond (health) and Theresa May and Damian Green (both education and employment). Caroline Spelman becomes a whip.

Other junior appointments

Quentin Davies, one of the few Europhiles to gain promotion in Mr Hague's re-shuffle, takes a seat on the frontbenches for the first time as a social security spokesman.

But, in general, the junior appointments strengthen the hand of the party's Eurosceptic right.

Alan Duncan, one of Mr Hague's media advisers, moves to health where he will work under the new shadow health secretary Anne Widdecombe.

John Whittingdale, a former aide to Baroness Thatcher when she was prime minister, goes to the Treasury while fellow right winger Bernard Jenkin shifts from constitutional affairs to environment, transport and the regions.

Former deputy party chairman Michael Trend moves to foreign affairs - as Michael Howard's number two - where he is joined by Cheryl Gillan who is leaving trade and industry.

Patrick Nicholls moves from health to agriculture while Christopher Chope goes from environment, transport and the regions to trade and industry. Patrick McLoughlin is promoted in the Whip's Office to Deputy Chief Whip.

See also:

03 Jun 98 | UK Politics
Full shadow cabinet - with profiles
01 Jun 98 | UK Politics
Shadow cabinet shake-up
01 Jun 98 | UK Politics
Hague tightens grip on Tories
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