Howarth given Lib Dem justice brief

CAMBRIDGE MP David Howarth has been promoted to full-time Liberal Democrat justice spokesman in a front bench team reshuffle which will allow defeated leadership candidate Chris Huhne to concentrate on home affairs.

Graham Dines

CAMBRIDGE MP David Howarth has been promoted to full-time Liberal Democrat justice spokesman in a front bench team reshuffle which will allow defeated leadership candidate Chris Huhne to concentrate on home affairs.

Mr Howarth, who has been an MP since 2005, has been recognised for his pugnacious parliamentary performances in the last 12 months. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: “I am proud to lead the best front-bench team in British politics, a team which has consistently been ahead of the curve on the big debates that matter to the British people.

“This team leaves the Liberal Democrats well placed to take the fight to both Labour and the Conservatives in the run-up to the General Election and to bring about the change that Britain needs.”

A party spokesman said: “Chris Huhne asked Nick Clegg to formalise David Howarth's position as shadow justice secretary. David has been doing this job in the home affairs team very effectively and Chris's oversight of the justice portfolio was only ever a temporary arrangement.”

The new roles are:

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Simon Hughes becomes spokesman for energy and climate change, Steve Webb goes to work and Pensions, David Heath will shadow the leader of the House of Commons, Jenny Willott takes over Duchy of Lancaster issues, and David Howarth is appointed justice spokesman.

Susan Kramer has chosen to leave the shadow cabinet to take up a new role leading the party's campaign against the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

A party spokesman said: "Chris Huhne asked Nick Clegg to formalise David Howarth's position as shadow justice secretary. David has been doing this job in the home affairs team very effectively and Chris's oversight of the justice portfolio was only ever a temporary arrangement.”