Former health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats Norman Lamb has been appointed minister for care services as part of David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle.
The North Norfolk MP will be leaving his job as business minister to replace fellow Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow in the Department of Health, serving under new health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Lamb will be joined by junior Tory ministers Dr Daniel Poulter, a former obstetrician, and Anna Soubry, known for her opposition to last year’s parliamentary bid to toughen the country’s abortion laws, who replace Simon Burns and Anne Milton.
Having served as a health spokesperson for more than three years while in opposition, Mr Lamb was in the frame to become health minister when the coalition Government first formed, but missed out amid rumours such a move was blocked by former health secretary Andrew Lansley.
Mr Lamb also threatened to quit last year when the Health and Social Care Act was being passed through Parliament, unless it was changed significantly.
At the time he claimed there was ‘no evidence’ the reforms would work, although he did stay faithful to the idea of GP commissioning.
Following the announcement yesterday, Mr Burstow tweeted that it had been a ‘privilege’ to serve as care minister and his ‘passion for fixing social care, improving mental health and championing carers’ would now be done from the backbenches.