Howard brings in new blood

Contributed by editor on Sep 10, 2004 - 03:06 PM


<TABLE width=150 align=left border=0><TABLE class=lightbg cellPadding=4 width=145><TD class=mcblack align=middle>
Michael Howard
<TD width=5><IMG height=1 alt="" src="" width=5>Tory leader and Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard has brought in new blood to the Conservative shadow ministerial team as the party gears up for a general election.

Former Welsh Secretary John Redwood returns to the Shadow Cabinet to take charge of a new De-Regulation brief, Nicholas Soames is promoted to the party's top team in his role as Shadow Defence Secretary, and David Cameron also joins the 17 strong Shadow Cabinet as Head of Policy Co-Ordination.

A further wide ranging shake-up of front bench posts includes George Osborne's promotion to Shadow Chief Secretary of the Treasury; while Alan Duncan switches to the International Development brief to replace John Bercow who returns to the back benches; and Damian Green also leaves the front bench, his transport brief taken over by Tim Yeo, the Shadow Secretary for Transport and the Environment. Mr Duncan's former role as Shadow Constitutional Affiars Secretary will be taken over by Oliver Heald who also retains his Shadow Leader of the House portfolio.

John Whittingdale moves to the Shadow culture, media and sport brief – replacing Julie Kirkbride who transfers to the foreign affairs team – while his old post at agriculture is taken over by James Paice, who has been promoted from the shadow Home Office team.

After announcing further changes in personnel, Mr Howard declared: "These changes will strengthen the Conservative team in the run up to the General Election."