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Letwin becomes shadow Environment Secretary

Former shadow Chancellor Oliver Letwin has been made shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs following Michael Howard's front bench reshuffle.

Gossip around Westminster suggests that Letwin asked for a "less challenging" role than the Treasury brief in order to return to an estimated £300,000 per year senior position at merchant bank NM Rothschild.

Former shadow Environment Secretary Tim Yeo has stepped down from the Tory front bench amid speculation that he will use his greater free time to mount a leadership bid for the Conservative party when Michael Howard steps down later this year.

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