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Former GP elected to chair Commons Health Committee

Former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston MP has been elected to chair of the House of Commons Health Committee.

Dr Wollaston, a former GP in Torbay, Devon, and now a local MP for the Conservative Party, is replacing Stephen Dorrell MP, who stepped down earlier this month.

The committee, which held elections for a successor today, revealed the result via its Twitter feed this afternoon, saying: ‘@drwollastonmp has been elected Chair of @CommonsHealth’

Despite being a Tory MP, Dr Wollaston has often been an outspoken commentator on health policy, including warning that the records-sharing scheme was an ‘enormous threat to privacy’ and campaigning in favour of introducing alcohol minimum pricing while the Coalition deferred their decision.

As a member of the health committee, she has also confronted health secretary Jeremy Hunt over GP recruitment and retention and signalled the importance of aiding GP returners. She has also, in an interview with Pulse, warned that the Government risked ‘over-promising’ with its seven-day GP access agenda.

Mr Dorrell, a former Conservative Government health secretary, said he wanted to focus on the pre-election period in a ‘less overtly political position’ when he stepped down as committee chair on 4 June.

The House of Commons Health Committee examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Department of Health and the chair is elected until the end of Parliament.