Definition of front bench in English:

front bench


  • (in the UK) the foremost seats in the House of Commons, occupied by the members of the cabinet and shadow cabinet.

    ‘his place on the Opposition front bench will be at stake’
    [as modifier] ‘a front-bench spokesman on European affairs’
    • ‘Worse still, according to Phillip Johnston, is the prospect of a Tory front-bench spokesman clashing with a speaker representing a Scottish seat.’
    • ‘I acknowledge the prowess of the members on the front bench of this Government - they are formidable.’
    • ‘Last week his front-bench team signalled that their approach has more to do with representing business in traditional territory than going after Easterhouse voters.’
    • ‘They intend to secure ongoing involvement, not simply to be voting fodder for the front-bench team.’
    • ‘Contrary to Labour policy, he voted against the Gulf war in 1990-a move that cost him his seat on the front bench.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the front-bench members snuck in from the side and did not get their top-up.’
    • ‘Debate is thus foreclosed in glib, prepared, often single-sentence replies that a trained front-bench speaker can issue as if from his own mammoth brain.’
    • ‘He is gone - dumped and demoted - but he has kept his front-bench seat.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister might think that health is important enough to have it has a front-bench portfolio, but being informed about it is not what she is demonstrating today.’
    • ‘I am a senior member of the National Party - a front-bench member.’
    • ‘Imagine being demoted, keeping a front-bench seat, and getting a pay increase at the same time!’
    • ‘It figured that New Zealanders do not like criminals, so the front-bench members will make their speeches against criminals.’
    • ‘They are a very lacklustre bunch on both the front bench and the back benches.’
    • ‘The next test for Mr. Rudd occurs on Thursday when the make-up of the new front bench is decided.’
    • ‘There are now more former front-bench members of the National caucus than there are people currently sitting on the front bench.’
    • ‘The first front-bench reshuffle is expected by mid-week.’
    • ‘He was an assured front-bench performer, which is a different thing from simply being an orator (although eloquence is a necessary component).’
    • ‘On 1 May, the senior front-bench spokesperson on defence for National delivered a planned and substantial speech to a regional party conference.’
    • ‘Not the least of the Conservatives' victories on Thursday was their achievement in overcoming the potential public-relations disaster of losing one of their front-bench spokesmen the moment the polls closed.’
    • ‘But the House of Commons has become more of a front-bench system, particularly of the government front bench.’


front bench