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Sir George Young returns to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Leader of the Commons

Picture 10 Nick Robinson broke the news on the Today programme - and David Cameron has now confirmed it - that Sir George Young is to be appointed Shadow Leader of the Commons, a position which was left vacant last night after David Cameron's decision to move Alan Duncan from the post.

Sir George, a Cabinet Minister in John Major's Government, is the archetypal safe-pair-of-hands to deal with the MPs' expenses issue and other matters in the Leader of the House's portfolio, having been for the last eight years the chairman of the all-important Standards and Privileges Committee.

He lost out to John Bercow in the recent Speakership election, having quipped while making his case that he had always been "in the Conservative Party, not run by the Conservative Party". But his promotion today would suggest that his place is secure in a Conservative Government if we win the election next year, as one of those old hands with ministerial experience on whom David Cameron would be able to depend for sound advice on the workings of government.

Indeed, Sir George was the first name on David Cameron's list of five long-standing MPs who had "every chance of serving in a future Conservative government” according to the party leader when he was interviewed by the Daily Telegraph in July.

This is a very wise appointment by David Cameron (although I daresay the class warriors on the Left will delight in pointing out that Sir George is also an Old Etonian) and he has just spoken to TV cameras outside his home in West London to confirm the appointment.

Mr Camron described Sir George as "one of the most respected Members of Parliament" with "a long track record of reform" who would "really help to bring strength, experience and depth to a Cabinet".

Jonathan Isaby

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