Frontline role for Charlie in new Lib Dem team

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Nick Clegg has announced the first appointments to his frontbench team since becoming Liberal Democrat leader on Tuesday.

Former leader Charles Kennedy returns to frontline politics, and in an unusual arrangement he will speak from the frontbench on Europe but not be the party’s official Europe spokesman.

London MP Lynne Featherstone has been appointed as the party’s youth and equality spokesperson, shadowing the equality team led by Harriet Harman.

She replaces Lorely Burt, who becomes chair of the Parliamentary party.

Veteran MP and party president Simon Hughes, who came out as bisexual in an interview with last year, retains his role as shadow Leader of the House.

Chris Huhne, who lost out on the leadership by just 511 votes out of the 41,475 cast by party members, takes over Mr Clegg’s old job as home affairs spokesman.

Vince Cable, whose strong performance as stand-in leader during the two-month campaign to replace Sir Ming led many to dub him the best leader the party never had, remains the party’s economic spokesman.

Sir Menzies Campbell, who resigned in October as leader, will not be on the frontbench.

He is to undertake a review of the UK’s military capability for the party and will join the Commons foreign affairs select committee.

For a full list of Nick Clegg’s appointments click here.