James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, has today been appointed to David Cameron’s Front Bench team in the House of Commons.

James received a phone call at 11am today informing him that he is to take up the position of Opposition Whip, and that David Cameron approved the appointment earlier this morning.

James will be working with the Conservative Party’s Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin MP, who was the one to call James with the good news.

Speaking after the call came, James said:

“I’m delighted to have been appointed to the Whips’ Office, and I’m excited to take this first step towards hopefully becoming a Minister in a Conservative government one day. The country certainly needs the change.

“Being a Whip is the perfect place to start really getting involved in the ins and outs of how Parliament works. Since before I even became an MP I’ve always hoped that I’d start out with this post – now I’ve been offered it, I’m looking forward to proving I’m up to the challenge!”

The news comes in the context of a small reshuffle in the Conservative Party’s Front Bench team that is taking place this morning. James expects that his own role will focus on matters relating to children, schools and families.

James remains on paternity leave following the birth last week of his second son, Henry John Duddridge, and will take up his new role as Opposition Whip when he returns to the Commons next Monday.

29 January 2008