Health Bill critic Norman Lamb becomes health minister

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, a prominent critic of former health secretary Andrew Lansley's NHS reforms prior to the Health Bill 'listening exercise', has become a health minister as part of yesterday's cabinet reshuffle.

Norman Lamb: former shadow health secretary takes DH role
Norman Lamb: former shadow health secretary takes DH role

The reshuffle saw Jeremy Hunt become health secretary, and Andrew Lansley move out of the DH to become leader of the House of Commons.

Hospital doctor Dr Daniel Poulter (Con, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) became a junior health minister, together with Anna Soubry (Con, Broxtowe) former private secretary to former health minister Simon Burns (Con, Chelmsford). Mr Burns has moved to the department of transport.

Lord Howe remains in his position as parliamentary under secretary of state for quality.

Mr Lamb became Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary in 2006, but after the 2010 general electionwas appointed chief parliamentary and political advisor to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

In 2011 Mr Lamb was reported to have threatened to resign over proposals for NHS reform set out in the Health Bill.

In an exclusive interview with GP later that year, Mr Lamb said changes to the Bill after the listening exercise had been well received by Liberal Democrat MPs.

Mr Lamb said that changes to the Bill had allayed his fears in regards to GP commissioning. ‘My concern was specifically on the rush to impose GP commissioning whether GPs wanted it or not. I felt that must be addressed.

'Now there is no longer a reason for me to consider my position because these specific concerns have been addressed,' he said.

Mr Lamb replaces care services minister Paul Burstow (Lib Dem, Sutton and Cheam). Mr Burstow issued a statement following the cabinet reshuffle.

He said: ‘Ever since I took on my dream job as care services minister I have had the opportunity to make a difference in a policy area I care deeply about.

‘I am confident my successor will now take on the challenge to ensure these reforms improve the lives of people in receipt of care up and down the country.’

Public health minister Anne Milton has also moved out of the DH.

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