Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 11:56 UK

Lib Dem front bench - Economy and Business

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has divided his front bench into teams. Here are details of the MPs who will shadow the government on economic and business issues.

Treasury spokesman and deputy leader - Vincent 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 secretary to the treasury - Jeremy Browne

Jeremy Browne

Jeremy Browne has been MP for Taunton since 2005, having previously worked in financial consultancy.

He was a foreign affairs spokesman before being given the Treasury brief by party leader Nick Clegg.

Mr Browne formerly advised former Lib Dem leaders Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy on press strategy.

Business, enterprise and regulatory reform - John Thurso

John Thurso made a small piece of constitutional history in 2001 when he became the first hereditary peer to be elected to the House of Commons, having previously sat in the House of Lords.

John Thurso

Previously, as Viscount Thurso, he had been a front bench spokesman in the House of Lords, but voted for his own expulsion and refused a life peerage.

He won the Commons seat which his grandfather had held for 30 years, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.

He was rapidly promoted to the front bench and in November 2001 became the party's principal spokesman on Scottish Affairs. Between October 2003 and May 2005 he also took on the transport portfolio.




SEE ALSO
Guide to Parliament: Introduction
11 Oct 07 |  UK Politics
Lib Dem front bench guide
13 Mar 08 |  UK Politics

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