Liberal Democrats announce top team shake-up

Party leader Jo Swinson has announced her top team

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Liberal Democrats have announced a shake-up of the top jobs at Westminster after Jo Swinson was elected as the party’s new leader in July.

The party has 14 MPs, with 12 of them now holding top positions.

Party newcomer Chuka Umunna has been named as foreign affairs, international trade and international development spokesman.

Mr Umunna was Labour’s shadow business secretary until he quit the party in February, becoming one of the founding members of the Independent Group (also known as Change UK and now, the Independent Group for Change).

Ms Swinson’s leadership rival, Sir Ed Davey, will take on the Treasury and business brief, while former leader Sir Vince Cable will speak for the party on health and social care.

Another previous leader, Tim Farron, has been appointed as spokesman for housing, local government, work and pensions.

The full Lib Dem frontbench team is:

  • Jo Swinson: Party leader
  • Sir Ed Davey: Treasury and business spokesman
  • Chuka Umunna: Foreign affairs, international trade and international development spokesman
  • Christine Jardine: Home affairs, justice, women and equalities spokeswoman
  • Tom Brake: Brexit spokesman
  • Jamie Stone: Defence and Scotland spokesman
  • Sir Vince Cable: Health and social care spokesman
  • Layla Moran: Education and culture spokeswoman
  • Wera Hobhouse: Climate, environment and transport spokeswoman
  • Tim Farron: Housing, local government, work and pensions spokesman
  • Alistair Carmichael: Chief whip and Northern Ireland spokesman
  • Jane Dodds: Food, rural affairs and Wales spokeswoman

The Lib Dems' newest recruit, Sarah Wollaston, is one of only two MPs not to be given a frontbench job along with former health minister Norman Lamb.

Ms Wollaston followed a similar path as Mr Umunna - quitting the Conservatives to join Change UK before becoming independent and joining the Liberal Democrats earlier this month.

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