Lord Storey, 68, is Lib Dem young people’s spokesman


Lord StoreyImage copyright Liberal Democrats
Image caption Lord Storey is a former head teacher

The new young people’s spokesman for the Lib Dems has been unveiled as 68-year-old Lord Storey.

The peer, a former head teacher and former Liverpool City Council leader, is among those being moved in new leader Vince Cable’s shake-up.

Lord Storey told the BBC: “I don’t think age matters, I think it’s your experience and your ability to connect on certain issues.”

Sir Menzies, now Lord, Campbell has returned to the party’s front bench.

The former party leader, who has been on the backbenches since quitting as leader 10 years ago, is among several peers in the new Lib Dem frontbench line-up. The party, once the third biggest in British politics – has only 12 MPs in the Commons.

‘Listening’

Lord Storey told the BBC: “I don’t think we should be ageist. I have a daughter who is at university, I was a head teacher of two schools for 20 years, so I know young people inside out.”

He added that his success in the role would be down to “listening to young people as well” and to understanding the issues that affect them – ranging from health and housing to rural transport.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lord Campbell and Tim Farron are both in the new line-up

“I think it’s about listening to what their problems are and listening to ways we can support and help.”

Sir Vince said having former council leaders Lord Storey and Lord Shipley – the latter a former leader of Newcastle City Council – on board was a demonstration of his “intention to restore and build on our local government base”.

The Liberal Democrats lost nearly 50 MPs in the 2015 general election, leaving them with just eight seats after five years in coalition with the Conservatives. They won 12 seats in the snap general election in June but their vote share fell from 7.9% to 7.4%.

Sir Vince said his “great, gender-balanced team” was “comprised of the most talented and promising politicians in the House of Commons and battle-hardened, experienced campaigners”.

The party leader, who was business secretary during the coalition government, will double up as the Lib Dems’ economic and business spokesman in the Commons.

Another former leader, his immediate predecessor Tim Farron will speak for the party on environment and rural matters, as well as taking on a new role focusing on regenerating the north of England.

Former minister Norman Lamb has stepped down as the party’s health spokesman, having been appointed chairman of the Commons Science and Technology Committee. Baroness Jolly replaces him.

View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41601876

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

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