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Jeremy Hunt leaves health secretary role as culture secretary takes over

Jeremy Hunt has been appointed foreign secretary, with digital, culture, media and sport secretary Matt Hancock named as his successor as health secretary. 

Mr Hunt had recently become the longest serving health secretary, having taken the role in September 2012. He had previously said that health secretary was his last major role in politics. 

However, following Boris Johnson’s resignation earlier today, Mr Hunt was appointed foreign secretary. 

Mr Hancock was appointed digital, culture, media and sport secretary in January 2018 having been a junior minister in the department since July 2016. He was first elected an MP in the 2010 general election in the West Suffolk constituency.

Before entering parliament, he worked as an economist at the Bank of England and as chief of staff to then shadow chancellor George Osbourne.

The reshuffle comes as former foreign secretary Boris Johnson resigned over the Brexit agreement.

Both Mr Hunt and Mr Hancock initially supported the campaign for the UK to remain the EU, but later backed the referendum result in support of Brexit.

On leaving his position, Mr Hunt wrote on Twitter: 'Massive wrench for me to leave health - I know some staff haven’t found me the easiest Health Sec but the NHS, and particularly patient safety, has become my passion & it really was the greatest privilege of my life to serve for so many years.'

He added: 'Couldn’t ask for a better successor than @matthancock to take forward long term NHS plan with his brilliant understanding of the power of technology. The new NHS app will be in safe hands!'

Mr Hancock said on social media that he was 'really looking forward to joining' the department of health and social care 'at such an important time for our great NHS', adding that he 'can’t wait to get started'.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, congratulated the new health secretary.

He said: 'While there is a new secretary of state, the challenges the health service faces remain the same. Patients are facing longer waits for care, so-called "winter pressures" in the NHS are now hitting the service all year round, and it lacks doctors, nurses, and beds.'

This comes after the only GP in a minister post Dr Phillip Lee announced his resignation last month over Brexit policy, calling it 'detrimental to the people we are elected to serve'.

Readers' comments (18)

  • Yet another one who studied PPE at Oxford!

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  • Council of Despair


    I really liked him - he was so close to finishing his mission of destroying the NHS and freeing us.

    I hope he leaves his skin to medical science as nothing ever sticks to him. How he got away with things was amazing - he would make a great future Tory PM.

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  • doctordog.

    It would be good to have a health secretary who is actually qualified for the job.
    Failed again,

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    He just walks away whenever any difficult questions are asked

    Well I don't thing Europe will care less if he doesn't listen.
    but that will be disastrous for England

    I suppose Theresa needs someone to take the blame for the shambles of Brexit
    and this guy will
    shamelessly sit in a post
    not doing anything

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  • yet another minister with no NHS experience, thanks TM - still no clue how to manage the NHS then !!!

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  • We are in for some big changes like it or not as it is not sustainable. The new health minister looks promising linking service usage with cost and is out of the fantasy world of unlimited funding and unlimited appointments.

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    The private medicine agenda
    is picking up full pace
    Private health care insurance
    cronyism and corruption rampant

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  • ... Found in the top drawer of Jeremy's office. Some proctosedyl and a note that says -- "Dear Matt the doctors are all gone, enjoy polishing the turd" Jxx

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