Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Thursday, 13 March 2008

Lib Dem front bench guide

Outgoing Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell with his successor, Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg succeeded Sir Menzies Campbell in December 2007
Here is a guide to the Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrat front bench team.

He has divided what he called his "shadow cabinet" into teams, creating a number of additional posts.

Below are details of the leader, deputy and chief whip.

Click on the links to read details of other members of the new team.

Leader - Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

Elected to Parliament in 2005, at the age of 38, Nick Clegg became the UK's youngest party leader little more than two years later, after winning a tight battle with Chris Huhne for the right to succeed Sir Menzies Campbell.

An effective television performer on the economically liberal right of the party, he carved out a home affairs policy distinct from the "tough liberalism" of his predecessor in the role, Mark Oaten.

An expert skier, who speaks five European languages, he cut his political teeth as an adviser to European Commissioner Leon Brittan before spending five years as a Lib Dem MEP, during which he pushed for reform of procedures in the European Parliament.

Deputy leader and shadow chancellor - Vince Cable

Vince Cable

Vince Cable began his political life with Labour, leaving to join the SDP when the party moved leftwards in the early 1980s.

He had been an adviser to John Smith when the future Labour leader was trade secretary in the James Callaghan administration and co-authored a leaflet with a young Gordon Brown.

The former chief economist for oil giant Shell International was elected MP for Twickenham in 1997 after running for every election since 1983. He was trade and industry spokesman before moving to the Treasury portfolio.

Mr Cable was a key supporter of Sir Menzies Campbell's successful party leadership campaign in 2006 and was rewarded with the position of deputy leader.

Following Sir Menzies' resignation in October 2007, he becamesacting leader, in which role he was widely regarded as an impressive performer.

New leader Nick Clegg restored him to his deputy leader/shadow chancellor post.

Chief whip - Paul Burstow

Paul Burstow

Tailor's son Paul Burstow has now served on the Lib Dems's front bench under four different leaders.

He joined the party from the SDP and was elected MP for Sutton and Cheam in 1997.

He was quickly made a junior front bench spokesman on local government, and within a few months, Paddy Ashdown appointed him to head the party's front bench team on local government.

He was party spokesman on older people under Charles Kennedy before taking over the health brief in 2003.

Mr Burstow stepped down from the front bench shortly after the 2005 general election. Sir Menzies Campbell brought him back in March 2006, in the chief whip role, which he retained under Nick Clegg, when he became leader in December 2007.

Married with three children, Mr Burstow is also co-chairman of the all-party group on ageing and older people.



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