Bristol West MP Stephen Williams has been appointed Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

He becomes the only gay man in the party’s ‘Shadow Cabinet.’ In his previous role as an education spokesman he gained prominence for his fight against homophobic bullying in schools.

Mr Williams, 40, was elected to Parliament in 2005. Last year he was nominated for Politician of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

He joins bisexual MP Simon Hughes, who retains his role shadowing the Leader of the House, in the Lib Dem top team.

David Laws retains his role as spokesman on Children, Schools and Families.

Gay equality organisation Stonewall’s head of parliamentary affairs paid tribute to Mr Williams.

“Stephen has been a tireless supporter of Stonewall’s Education for All programme against homophobic bullying, a diligent select committee member and was nom for stonewall award,” Derek Munn told PinkNews.co.uk.

“We welcome this recognition of his abilities.”