Kennedy boosts his frontbench team

THE Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy, strengthened his frontbench team yesterday in response to the war on Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism at home.

He announced new appointments to his foreign affairs, defence, international development and home affairs teams to cope with the increasing demands of the international situation.

The reshuffle means a handful of the 2001 intake of MPs are given frontbench jobs.

One of the notable changes was the promotion of new MP Lord John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) to the Scottish affairs brief.

Michael Moore, the Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale MP who used to do that job was moved to Foreign Affairs to help Menzies Campbell.

Mr Kennedy said: "These new appointments reflect the increased demands that the international situation has placed on politicians of all parties.

"Both the foreign affairs and defence teams now have additional members. A strengthened home affairs team will respond to new anti-terrorism legislation."