Vince Cable has appointed his first team of principal spokespersons since becoming leader this summer.
The team includes notable strength in depth on the economy, foreign affairs and local government at a time when the impact of Brexit, social inequality and lack of investment is fostering tensions in these areas.
“I am fortunate to lead such a great, gender-balanced team, which is comprised of the most talented and promising politicians in the House of Commons and battle-hardened, experienced campaigners.
“The team has a wealth of senior ministerial experience. It also includes the former council leaders of Newcastle and Liverpool, signalling my intention to restore and build on our local government base.”
Former leader Tim Farron will take up a new position focused on regenerating the north of England. This is a sign of the Lib Dems’ commitment to building a more balanced national economy and making sure the government delivers on the Northern Powerhouse. Farron will also lead on rural affairs.
Another former leader, Menzies Campbell, has been appointed principal defence spokesman. The broader foreign affairs team includes deputy leader Jo Swinson, international affairs spokesperson Shas Sheehan and armed forces spokesperson Jamie Stone.
Cable will represent the party on economic and business issues in the Commons, reflecting his expertise and experience in predicting the causes of the financial crisis and his five years as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.
The party’s economic credibility is further strengthened by the appointments of Susan Kramer, Chris Fox and Lorely Burt to treasury, business, and small business briefs in the House of Lords. All have economic or business backgrounds and political experience in these portfolios.
Christine Humphreys holds the Wales portfolio. The complete list is here.