The Liberal Democrats have appointed their new spokespeople for education and business.
Southport MP John Pugh will provide the party’s opposition to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, while Lorely Burt — one of 48 Lib Dem MPs to have lost their seat in May’s General Election — will cover Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s brief.
Just eight Lib Dem MPs held their seats at the election and the appointment of former Solihull MP Ms Burt, along with that of former Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone to energy and climate change spokesperson, has triggered speculation they could be set for places in the House of Lords.
Former religious studies teacher Mr Pugh went to Prescot Grammar School and Maidstone Grammar School and studied philosophy at Durham University. Former assistant prison governor Ms Burt went Dudley’s High Arcal Grammar School and Dudley Technical College before doing an economics degree at Swansea’s University College, and then an Open University MBA.
He said: “I am delighted to be able to announce my team of party spokespeople. The team I am announcing today is the Liberal voice that Britain desperately needs.
“It features some of the best campaigners that the party has, balanced with the experience and economic credibility that our party has developed over the last five years in government.
“It was important to me to be able to call on the advice and experience of people at all levels of our party and I believe we have an excellent team to lead the Lib Dem fight back.
“Together, we will take our ideas, our values and our liberal messages to every corner of Britain. We will make the case for housing, immigration, Europe, environmentalism and human rights.”
The full Lib Dem spokesperson team is:
Leader: Tim Farron MP
Economics: Baroness Susan Kramer
Foreign Affairs/Chief Whip/Leader of the house: Tom Brake MP
Defence: Baroness Judith Jolly
Home Affairs: Alistair Carmichael MP
Health: Norman Lamb MP
Education: John Pugh MP
Work and Pensions: Baroness Zahida Manzoor
Business: Lorely Burt
Energy and Climate Change: Lynne Featherstone
Local Government: Mayor of Watford, Cllr Dorothy Thornhill
Transport: Baroness Jenny Randerson
Environment and Rural Affairs: Baroness Kate Parminter
International Development: Baroness Lindsay Northover
Culture Media and Sport: Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter
Equalities: Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece
Justice/Attorney General: Lord Jonathan Marks
Northern Ireland: Lord John Alderdice
Scotland: Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Wales: Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Campaigns Chair: Greg Mullholland MP
Grassroots Campaigns: Coun Tim Pickstone, chief executive of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors