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Health minister Stephen Barclay appointed Brexit secretary

Health minister Stephen Barclay has been thrown into the international limelight after being made Theresa May’s Brexit secretary.

Mr Barclay, whose responsibilities at the Department of Health and Social Care included workforce pay, pensions and whistleblowing, was made Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union after the resignation of postholder Dominic Raab.

The Prime Minister faced a wave of resignations from the cabinet last week after unveiling her final Brexit withdrawal agreement to put before parliament.

Staunch leavers have said the deal would leave the UK as a ‘vassal state’ with the nation neither ‘in’ or ‘out’ of Europe.

They want the UK to return to Brussels to secure a better agreement, but she has described what is on the table as ‘the best that could be negotiated’ and ‘in the national interests’.

Mr Barclay, who is MP for North East Cambridgeshire, voted to leave in the 2016 referendum.

He will be replaced at the DHSC by Stephen Hammond.

Mr Hammond, the MP for Wimbledon, has previously held ministerial roles at the Department of Transport.

In his career outside politics, Mr Hammond worked in fund management and investment banking.

He was privately educated at The King Edward VI School in Southampton and studied at the University of London.