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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 December 2005, 20:30 GMT
Gillan handed shadow Welsh role
Cheryl Gillan
Cheryl Gillan enters the shadow cabinet for the first time
Cheryl Gillan has been appointed shadow Welsh secretary in new Conservative Party leader David Cameron's first shadow cabinet.

Ms Gillan, MP for Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire, replaces Bill Wiggin as shadow Welsh secretary.

The 53-year-old, who was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, has been in Parliament since 1992.

Unlike Mr Wiggin, Ms Gillan will be a member of Mr Cameron's shadow cabinet.

Under previous Tory leader Michael Howard, the shadow Welsh secretary post was not part of the shadow cabinet.

Ms Gillan said she was delighted with her new role, adding that it was significant that the job has been reinstated as part of the shadow cabinet.

"I'm extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity that this presents," she said.

"I hope I shall bring that forward-looking optimism to Wales and the Welsh people.

"David (Cameron) has brought it back into the cabinet in its rightful place and should indicate to people the importance he attaches to having a strong voice for Wales in his shadow cabinet."

Front bench jobs

Ms Gillan served in John Major's government as junior minister in the Department for Education and Employment.

In opposition, her front bench jobs have covered trade and industry, the Foreign Office and a period as a party whip.

Her interests are listed as golf, music, gardening and animals.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh assembly, Nick Bourne, welcomed Ms Gillan's appointment.

He added: "I very much look forward to meeting her shortly to discuss Welsh policy issues.

'Commitment to Wales '

"Coming from Cardiff I know Cheryl will understand Welsh concerns and will represent Welsh interests with vigour and determination.

"It is a sign of David Cameron's commitment to Wales that he is giving the post such a high profile within his front bench team."

Ms Gillan's predecessor, Bill Wiggin, said in a statement he had enjoyed his own time in the role since his appointment in 2003.

He added: "I was always made most welcome and very much enjoyed my time as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.

"It has been a great honour and privilege to work with so many people who are determined to deliver a better future for the people of Wales."


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