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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt pleased to remain in ‘best job’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is ‘thrilled to be back in the best job in Government’, he has said.

Number 10 confirmed yesterday lunchtime that Jeremy Hunt will continue as health secretary in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet, despite earlier reports that he was out.

NHS had been anxiously awaiting news yesterday morning on who would get the job, or if Mr Hunt would continue in post.

This included the BBC briefly reporting that Mr Hunt was out of the health role, but getting a different job in the Cabinet.

Mr Hunt had said the previous day that he ‘very much hoped’ Mrs May would keep him on as health secretary.

Number 10 said in a statement: ‘The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP will continue as secretary of state for health.’

Meanwhile, Mr Hunt made light of the widespread reporting that his time as health secretary was up, tweeting with a quote from author Mark Twain:

The BMA responded by urging Mr Hunt to negotiate junior doctor contract terms.

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter said what the NHS needed now was ‘period of stability and a working environment that encourages partnership and co-operation’.

He said the Government and BMA ‘still need to agree a contract for junior doctors in which they have confidence’ adding that he would ‘urge Mr Hunt to build on the progress that has been made so far to address outstanding issues and regain trust from junior doctors, who are the future of the profession’.

It comes as Mr Hunt announced earlier this month that the compromise junior doctor contract agreed with the BMA in May would be rolled out despite the fact that a majority of BMA junior doctor members voted against it in a referendum.

Since then, BMA junior doctors committee chair Dr Johann Malawana – who led junior doctor colleagues in a series of walkouts earlier in the year – has stepped down and BMA said it is considering its next moves.

Note: This story has been continually updated as news has unfolded, with the most recent update at 09.50 15 July.