The Department of Health has confirmed that Dame Andrea Leadsom has been appointed as new primary care minister.
The MP for South Northamptonshire was appointed as junior minister on 13 November during the Prime Minister’s reshuffle of his top team but it was only last week confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Care that she would be covering primary care.
She replaces Neil O’Brien, who resigned from his primary care minister post as he wanted to focus on constituency work and time with his family.
Dame Andrea previously served as the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy and leader of the House of Commons, and most recently acted as the Government’s early years adviser for the past three years.
Hinting at her new responsibilities earlier this month, she said she was looking forward to supporting ‘fabulous GPs, dentists and community pharmacists’.
She said: ‘[I am] delighted to join DHSC as a junior minister. After three years as the Government’s Early Years Adviser, I will now have ministerial responsibility for the ‘Best Start for Life’ as well as the hugely important public health portfolio.
‘From supporting our fabulous GPs, dentists and community pharmacists, to rolling out support for every family to give their baby the “Best Start for Life”, I am looking forward to getting stuck in.’
Dame Andrea was one of the leading voices in the Leave campaign during the Brexit referendum in 2016, and on Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation following the referendum, she stood as one of the five candidates in Conservative Party leadership election, against Theresa May, Michael Gove, Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox.
However, she pulled out of the race saying it was in the ‘best interests of the country’, paving the way for Ms May to become Prime Minister, and was then appointed as secretary of state for environment, food and rural Affairs.
In May 2019 she resigned in protest at the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy, two days prior to Ms May’s resignation.
Dame Andrea stood again in a bid to become leader of the Conservative party in June 2019, without succeeding, and was then appointed to cabinet by Boris Johnson.
She left the cabinet in 2020 but remained in the House of Common as a backbencher until Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle earlier this month.
Before becoming an MP, Dame Andrea worked in the banking and finance industry for 25 years, most recently as head of corporate governance and senior investment officer at Invesco Perpetual, one of the UK’s largest retail fund managers.
Originally from Buckinghamshire, she attended Tonbridge Girls Grammar School in Kent and she went on to study political science at Warwick University.