from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. one who sits on the front bench in a parliament. Typically the spokesmen for those who sit further back.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a member of the House of Commons of Great Britain who is a minister or an ex-minister.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a member of the House of Commons who is a minister in the government or who holds an official position in an opposition party
As MPs go, he is relatively well known as a frontbencher in Parliament and a leading voice on business issues.
One of Cameron's speechwriters told us privately he hated the 'be nice to gays' thing, while a big name frontbencher predicted a mess over Cameron's suggestion that faith schools should allow children of other faiths in (Will Cardinal Murphy O'Connor really want to allow Muslim pupils into Catholic schools?
At the other end of the spectrum are schools such as Lilian Baylis Technology School in Kennington, south London, the school made infamous by ex-Etonian and current Tory frontbencher Oliver Letwin when in 2003 he crassly claimed he would rather "beg on the street" than let his child go to such a school.
Prince Andrew faced calls to resign from Mike Gapes, a former chair of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, and Chris Bryant, the Labour frontbencher, but David Cameron and George Osborne each issued votes of confidence.
But Labour, which was informed of the dinner in a letter to the frontbencher Kevin Brennan, is likely to ask questions about Llewellyn's decision to meet the Met commissioner in the company of Wallis at a time when questions were being asked about the links between the Yard and News International.
In the run-up to the election I was the first frontbencher to call for a judicial inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal, and of course the newspaper that put people on to me and broke the story about the affair was the News of the World.
Last week, almost six years on, Labour MPs and some Conservatives were questioning how successful that rebranding had been after Cameron – under pressure at prime minister's questions – tried to slap down the opposition frontbencher Angela Eagle with the disastrously ill-chosen line "calm down, dear".
Watch any interview from the past few days with an opposition frontbencher: they tend to carpet Cameron for his failure, while seeming to agree that Brussels is to be mistrusted.
Imagine the front ranking opposition frontbencher, with decades of work and experience behind him, forced to conclude he was under-qualified to lead his party because he lacked a full head of hair.
Paul Goodman, a former Tory frontbencher now working for the ConservativeHome website, agrees: "I think that with the modern media, trying to have a public conversation would lead to endless reports about splits and it would become impossible."
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