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The move will see Mr Clarke, 68, take on fellow returning big-hitter Lord Mandelson, in setting out how to help firms through the economic turmoil.
Current shadow business secretary Alan Duncan will be offered another post.
Mr Clarke met David Cameron for lunch at the shadow chancellor George Osborne's west London home on Saturday to agree the basis of his return, according to BBC political editor Nick Robinson.
"The hope is he brings real firepower to that Tory front bench and also quite a lot of understanding of the plight they may face if they do make it into government," said Mr Robinson.
Originally posted by Venit
Well i'd argue over whether this is alternative breaking news or not, but nevertheless i welcome Clarke's return. He's likeable, takes a progressive stance on Europe rather than the blind nationalism shown by some and is a generally thoughtful fellow. Plus the public like him, if this is detrimental to the Tories then it'll most likely come from the old band of the party blindly attacking his Euro-friendly views.