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UK: Simon Hughes Joins Government, Quits As Deputy Lib Dem Leader

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Simon Hughes has quit as deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat in order to become a justice minister. The Bermondsey MP replaces Lord McNally, who is leaving to become chair of the Youth Justice Board.

The post is the first ministerial job for Hughes, who has been an MP since 1983. He made an unsuccessful bid for the leadership in 2006 and is seen as a leading voice on the left of the party.

Hughes said: “It is a privilege and a huge responsibility to be appointed to this important job in Government. Issues of justice and civil liberties have been my passions since I was a teenager. Justice and civil liberties are also core issues for every Liberal Democrat in the country.”

His decision to accept a ministerial post appears to suggest any dreams of succeeding Nick Clegg as party leader have been dropped, having previously trumpeted his position outside of government as a key attribute. Read full story

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