14 September 2001
Duncan Smith names farm shadow

By FWi staff

PETER AINSWORTH has been appointed as shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary by new Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Mr Ainsworth, MP for East Surrey, will replace Tim Yeo, who has been moved to shadow minister for culture, media and sport.

Mr Yeo, a former Conservative minister, had been shadow farm minister and more recently shadow Defra secretary since 1998.

A former investment analyst, Mr Ainsworth has been a member of parliament since 1992 and a member of the shadow cabinet since 1998.

In the mid-1990s he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to disgraced MP Jonathan Aitken but was promoted to become secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

He lists economic policy and environment among his special interests, and in 1994 was voted country MP of the year by Country Life magazine.

In his spare time, Oxford-educated Mr Ainsworth says he enjoys family, music and gardening.

A spokeswoman from Conservative Central Office said junior members of Mr Ainsworths team would be announced later on Friday (14 September).

The shadow Cabinet reshuffle came less than 24 hours after it was confirmed that Mr Duncan Smith had convincingly won the leadership battle.

A low-key announcement was made on Thursday night – a day later than planned as a mark of respect for the people who died in this weeks US terrorist attacks.

Mr Duncan Smith gained 61% of the vote from Party members leaving challenger Kenneth Clarke trailing behind.