'CLARKE ALLY WINS PLUM JOB'

By Nicholas Watt

Guardian – 15 November 2002

Iain Duncan Smith moved yesterday to heal wounds in the Conservative Party by appointing a Kenneth Clarke supporter to act as his second Parliamentary Aide. Alistair Burt, a former Social Security Minister who voted for the former Chancellor in last year's leadership contest, will work alongside Owen Paterson as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Conservative Leader.

… Yesterday's reshuffle included the promotion of Mark Prisk, MP for Hertford and Stortford, who has become Shadow Financial Secretary. Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom and Ewell, was also moved, from the Whips' Office to take the role of Health Spokesman. He replaces Oliver Heald, who replaced John Bercow as Shadow Pensions Minister. Mr Bercow resigned over the Tories’ opposition to gay adoptions.

John Baron, Billericay's MP, becomes Health Spokesman, and Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East, has gone from the Whips' Office to the Shadow Defence Team.

Mr Duncan Smith said the changes boosted his Health and Defence Teams in response to the Government's plans for Foundation Hospitals and in anticipation of a war with Iraq.