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Right-wing former GP Dr Liam Fox has been named shadow health secretary in a major shake-up of the Conservative frontbench team which gives Ann Widdecombe the home affairs brief.

A former junior Foreign Office minister, Dr Fox has, from his safe seat in Woodspring, Avon, been his party's constitutional affairs spokesman since the election.

Described as a 'fundamentalist opponent of abortion', the 37-year-old Scot studied medicine in Glasgow, where he recalls 'taking blood samples in taxis through picket lines during the health workers' strike'.

As a GP he was a vocal advocate of the Tory NHS reforms and was secretary of the party's backbench health committee.

Dr Fox has a flair for publicity - he was spotted by London's Evening Standard 'boogying down with the bimbos' at a nightclub and publicly called for the 'flogging' of thieves who stole his CDs.