This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

GPs go forth

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)

  • The silver lining of Brexit. Though whoever we get will make little difference.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • AlanAlmond

    He’s off to ruin another area of government, his particular version of blinkered conceited will serve us badly in BREXIT negotiations. The U.K. needed better politicians during recent years. We’ve been lumbered with this guy and his peers. Would that he was gone completely. His continued presence in government will be a disaster for our country.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    (1)Not know much about this Hancock guy ; only 39 years old.
    Found this on Wikipedia:
    Hancock is the first MP to launch his own smartphone app in 2018.[22] The head of privacy rights group Big Brother Watch called the app a "fascinating comedy of errors",[23] after the app was found to collect its users' photographs, friend details, check-ins, and contact information.[24][25]
    Effectively, Simon Stevens is more like the health secretary in England anyway.
    2)I wonder if the role of the Foreign Secretary in Brexit is going to be a bit ‘different’ in coming months.
    One thing I wrote about Hunt was his Chinese wife who would love her husband standing next to President Xi one day. Hunt is a ‘converted’ Leaver , as he declared last year
    3)Pound slides after Boris Johnson quits
    The fear of a leadership challenge flattens the pound . If that is sustained , inflation can go up a bit more and give Bank of England and Mark Carney an ‘reason’ to raise interest rate .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • He has escaped! He can now absolve himself of the responsibility of not reaching the target of 5000 extra Go's by 2020!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good Morning. The coffee aroma was all pervading with Jeremy gone to greener pastures. Let's say a prayer for the Foreign Office:)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I feel so used! He didn't even say bye :(

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • More cash being taken from frontline services and given to Hancock’s mates in IT, health apps for all, no need for hospital beds just a tablet at the end of everyone’s bed keeping them healthy and we can visit to offer software updates. At least we know if he’s incompetent setting up his own app he’ll be well placed to use that incompetence in finishing off the NHS. Great name though......

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The King is dead!

    Long live the King!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say