Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 13:12 UK

Lib Dem front bench - Others

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has divided his front bench into teams. Here are details of the MPs who will shadow the government on issues outside the scope of the new departments.

Cabinet Office, families and Duchy of Lancaster - Susan Kramer

Susan Kramer

A former City high-flyer, who was vice-president of a leading international bank before starting her own company to work on transport projects in Eastern Europe, Susan Kramer was appointed to the Lib Dem treasury team after entering Parliament as MP for Richmond Park in 2005.

A former president of the Oxford Union, she has sometimes been tipped as a future party leader, despite coming fourth in the contest to be London mayor in 2000.

She has campaigned against the privatisation of the underground and was a member of the board of Transport for London. She also contributed a chapter to the Orange Book, which set out a free-market policy agenda for the party.

Nick Clegg gave here the cabinet office portfolio, which also includes the families brief, in his first shadow cabinet.

Commons leader and party president - Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes

A popular figure with the Lib Dem grassroots, Simon Hughes has twice stood for the party leadership.

In 1999 he was beaten by Charles Kennedy. His 2006 campaign was overshadowed by his admission to a tabloid newspaper that he had had gay relationships.

The North Southwark and Bermondsey MP also stood unsuccessfully against Ken Livingstone for London mayor in May 2004, coming third.

A barrister by profession, he is known for his views on civil liberties and has served as the party's justice spokesman. He is also an anti-nuclear campaigner, although his public backing for Sir Menzies Campbell's "wait and see" policy on replacing Trident helped the party leader win a crucial conference vote in 2007.

His loyalty was rewarded in Sir Menzies' July reshuffle with a post shadowing the commons leader, where he remained when Nick Clegg took over the party reins.

Culture, media and sport - Don Foster

Don Foster

Don Foster provided one of the most memorable upsets of the 1992 general election when he unseated Chris Patten - the architect of the Conservative Party's victory.

A former science teacher who rose to chair Avon County Council's education committee, Mr Foster was quickly appointed education spokesman on arriving in the Commons.

When Charles Kennedy took over from Paddy Ashdown as Lib Dem leader, Mr Foster was given the job of shadowing John Prescott's environment, transport and regions ministry.

He then became transport spokesman before taking up his current culture, media and sport portfolio.

Scotland and Northern Ireland - Alistair Carmichael

Alistair Carmichael resigned as front bench spokesman on Scotland and Northern Ireland in March 2008 so he could defy the party whip and vote in favour of a referendum on the EU Treaty.

Alistair Carmichael

He was one of three front bench spokesmen to do so - in all 15 Lib Dems ignored instructions to abstain from the vote.

Responsibility was added to international development spokesman Michael Moore's portfolio but Mr Carmichael returned to the top team, along with fellow rebel Tim Farron, in Nick Clegg's October 2008 reshuffle.

Elected as MP for Orkney and Shetland - the UK's most northerly constituency - in 2001, his previous jobs include hotel manager and solicitor.

During his time as an MP he has also been a transport and an energy spokesman.

Youth and equality - Lynne Featherstone

Lynne Featherstone

An MP since 2005, Lynne Featherstone was previously a spokeswoman on home affairs and international development.

She has been a high-profile opponent of the government's moves to liberalise pub licensing hours and plans to introduce identity cards.

A graphic designer by trade, she owns an electrical retail business. She has also made a name for herself as an avid political blogger.

Lords leader - Lord McNally

Lord McNally

Tom McNally was press secretary to former Prime Minister James Callaghan before becoming a Labour MP in 1979.

He lost his Stockport seat in 1983 after joining the breakaway SDP. He supported the SDP's merger with the Liberal Party in 1987, going on to spend 10 years as Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown's political adviser. He entered the Lords in 1995.

In 2006, he admitted having been an alcoholic between 1982 and 1985, after Charles Kennedy confessed his problems with drink.

Outside politics he has enjoyed a successful career in public relations and is chairman of PR giant Weber Shandwick.

Wales - Roger Williams

Roger Williams

A founder member of the SDP in 1981 and one of its first local councillors, in Powys, mid Wales, Roger Williams entered Parliament in 2001 as the Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire.

A farmer and former chairman of the Brecon Beacons national park, he takes a keen interest in agricultural issues and he has campaigned for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

His other interests include education - he was a former lay schools inspector - and Europe.

As a member of the European Centre for Wales in Brussels he also lobbied for EU support for Wales.

Lords chief whip - Lord Shutt

Lord Shutt

With long service as a Liberal Democrat councillor behind him, Lord Shutt has also been spokesman in the Lords on international development.

He is a qualified accountant who was made a life peer in 2000.

Lord Shutt's recreations include singing with the Parliament Choir.

Campaigns - Willie Rennie

Willie Rennie

Willie Rennie gained national attention in early 2006 when he won the Dunfermline West and Fife seat - which borders Gordon Brown's constituency - from Labour in a by-election.

He was once leader of the Scottish Young Liberal Democrats and worked in the communications industry before entering Parliament.

Party leader Nick Clegg has given Mr Rennie three jobs: defence spokesman, whip and head of parliamentary campaigns.

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


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