Ex-Lib Dem leader Menzies Campbell takes defence role in reshuffle

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Liberal Democrat former leader Menzies Campbell has been brought back into the party’s top team as part of a reshuffle announced by Sir Vince Cable.

Tim Farron, who quit as leader after the general election, has been tasked with drawing up plans to regenerate the North under the shake-up.

With just 12 Lib Dems holding seats in the House of Commons, peers feature heavily in the list.

After a decade-long absence from the frontbenches, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem becomes defence spokesman.

Sir Vince will take on the economic and business roles, a move that reflects his expertise and experience in predicting the causes of the financial crisis and five years as business secretary, the Lib Dems said.

New roles for Lord Storey, former Liverpool city council leader, and Lord Shipley, who led Newcastle city council, show the party’s commitment to restoring its fortunes in local government, according to Sir Vince.

It comes after Norman Lamb announced last month that he was stepping down as health spokesman. He has been replaced by Baroness Jolly.

Former journalist Christine Jardine takes over the Scotland brief from Jamie Stone, who will now speak on the armed forces.

Sir Vince said: ” 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.”