FORMER Solihull MP Lorely Burt has been appointed the Lib Dem spokesperson for business, innovation and skills – sparking speculation she could soon become a member of the House of Lords.
The role, along with many other senior party roles, is typically given to MPs.
But with the Liberal Democrates having been left with just eight MPs after a devastating General Election night, new party leader Tim Farron has called on his leading former MPs and members of the House of Lords to help the party with its fightback.
Mrs Burt will shadow Business Secretary Sajid Javid, the Conservative MP for Bromsgrove.
The decision to recruit Mrs Burt has highlighted the confidence the party has in her and is highly likely to see her entered into the House of Lords, becoming Lady Burt.
Speaking to The Observer as the news broke a delighted Mrs Burt said: “I’m back in business – quite literally.
“I’m thrilled to be continuing for the Liberal Democrats and to be able to represent the fabulous businesses across the country, and across the region who I worked with during my time.”
The new position for Mrs Burt is an unpaid rold which she is doing ‘just for the love of it’ and will run alongside her various other business opportunities since losing her Solihull seat to Conservative Julian Knight.
During her ten-year stint as Solihull MP she also held the post of chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party and was a whip in the Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition Government.
Mr Farron said: “Lorely has a great understanding of the needs of business and she will play a major part in the party’s fightback.”