Andrew Lansley named as health secretary as coalition Government takes shape
By Gareth Iacobucci
Andrew Lansley is the new secretary of state of health after being appointed a member of Prime Minister David Cameron's new coalition Cabinet.
Mr Lansley's anticipated path to the top job in the Department of Health had been thrown into doubt by the advent of a hung parliament last week, with some suggesting that the Liberal Democrats' health spokesman Norman Lamb could be handed the role.
But Mr Lansley, who has overseen health for the Tories since 2004, was officially confirmed as the new health secretary last night, following the announcement that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had agreed to form a coalition Government.
Mr Cameron is thought to have long guaranteed him the role in any Government led by the Conservatives, with Mr Lansley seen as instrumental in shaping Tory health policy and convincing people that the NHS is a high priority for the party.
But he has had to weather a number of potential storms during his time in opposition, after being forced to defend himself against accusations of ‘flipping' homes during the expenses scandal, and being embarrassed by revelations that his office accepted a large cash donation from the wife of John Nash, chairman of private healthcare provider Care UK.
The composition of the rest of the new ministerial health team is as yet unclear, with Westminster sources suggesting that each department is likely to include at least one Liberal Democrat junior minister.
More followsAndrew Lansley has been appointed as the new health secretary