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Flight leaves IFA post for Shadow Cabinet

IFA champion MP and Investec co-chairman Howard Flight has been promoted to the Shadow Cabinet but will no longer represent IFAs&#39interests in Parliament.

Flight&#39s promotion to Shadow Treasury Chief Secretary from Shadow paymaster general follows Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith&#39s recent frontbench reshuffle.

Flight has repeatedly raised the plight of IFAs in Parliament, taking the lead on financial services issues for the Tories since 1997, most recently criticising the Treasury&#39s “rubbish” attitude towards the independent sector.

His promotion effectively makes him deputy to Shadow Chancellor Michael Howard. His new duties will include shadowing Labour&#39s Chief Secretary Paul Boateng as the Treasury minister responsible for public spending.

A Conservative Party spokesman says Flight will be replaced in the financial services portfolio by Stephen O&#39Brien, MP for Eddisbury Cheshire.

Thirty years ago, Flight co-founded and is now joint chairman of fund manager Guinness Flight, now Investec Asset Management. Flight is replacing John Bercow, who becomes Shadow pensions minister.

Flight says: “There will inevitably be a period of handover and I will be deputising for Michael Howard on any major issues in financial services anyhow.”

Britannic Retirement Solutions spokesman and former political consultant Jim Boyd says: “John Bercow is exceptional and will bring his forensic expertise to his new role. I would be disappointed and surprised, however, if Flight does not still maintain a watching brief over an industry for which he has demonstrated outstanding ability.”

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