Lansley defends his record after losing health

 
Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley defended his record as health minister

In his first interview since being moved from Health Secretary to become Leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Lansley defended his health reforms.

"The service is in good financial shape," he said.

"We've delivered £10 billion of efficiency savings and all performance measures have improved in the last two years."

Mr Lansley says he doesn't believe he was removed through any dissatisfaction with the reforms or the progress of the reforms.

"I do think it was fair that after what is approaching 10 years to think about succession planning, so health doesn't rest in the hands of one person."

The MP for South Cambridgeshire remains in the Cabinet and continues to be friends with David Cameron whom he's known for 20 years.

Also leaving the health department is Chelmsford MP, Simon Burns, who becomes a minister in the Department of Transport.

However, joining health is North Norfolk Lib Dem, Norman Lamb.

Finally back in the department he shadowed before the coalition, he's now Minister of State for Care Services.

There he'll be responsible for drawing up new plans for care of the elderly - he almost reached a consensus on that subject with Labour and the Conservatives while in opposition.

Dr Daniel Poulter, a practising doctor and MP for Ipswich North and Central Suffolk, also joins the Health Department as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.

Class of 2010

Conservatives from the "class of 2010" seem to have made a good impression.

KEY CHANGES

Coalition Cabinet meeting in 2010
  • Andrew Lansley leaves health and becomes leader of the House of Commons
  • Eric Pickles keeps his job as Communities Secretary
  • Chloe Smith moves from the Treasury to a new role in the Cabinet Office
  • Grant Shapps becomes Conservative Party chairman
  • Elizabeth Truss - education minister
  • Matthew Hancock - business and education minister
  • Dr Daniel Poulter - health minister
  • Norman Lamb becomes Minister of State for Care Services
  • Mark Francois becomes a minister at defence
  • Simon Burns - moves to transport

Several have made it into ministerial positions for the first time.

Back in 2009 it was touch and go whether Elizabeth Truss would even become an MP after the Conservative association in South West Norfolk threatened to deselect her.

David Cameron went out on a limb to support the former director of the Reform think tank. Now it's clear why.

In making her a junior minister in the Department for Education the Prime Minister told her that he's giving her a chance to try to put some of her ideas into action.

With her in the education department is fellow East Anglian, Matt Hancock.

He's been asked by the PM to look after apprenticeships and higher education, something he feels "passionate" about.

George Osborne's former chief of staff, the MP for West Suffolk has also been handed a junior ministerial role in Business Secretary, Vince Cable's, department.

Mr Hancock is "thrilled and honoured" at the appointments.

"It's a big job and I'll give it my all", he assured me.

Cabinet casualties

Chloe Smith had a roller coaster ride during her 10 months at the Treasury.

As minister responsible for taxation she found herself taking the flak, unfairly many say, for the "omnishambles" budget, concluding in an unfortunate interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.

We understand the Prime Minister told her she'd done a good job and that she's pleased to be moving to the Cabinet Office to take on a new role, which will involve civil service reform.

Chloe Smith Chloe Smith moves to the Cabinet Office to take on a new role

The decision to remove Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice came as a shock to many in the farming community, where he was a popular.

Even if he didn't know the price of a pint of milk, he managed to negotiate a new deal between farmers and the supermarkets - finalised just hours before he lost his job.

In a statement, Mr Paice said the job had been close to his heart, adding: "I have said repeatedly to farmers, change should be seen as an opportunity - that applies to me now!"

But the pill is surely sweetened by the news he's to be knighted after 23 years of distinguished service.

Henry Bellingham, MP for Norfolk North West, also lost his post.

The Foreign Office minister maintained he'd been to 61 countries in two years and would be glad of a break to spend time fighting incinerator plans in his constituency.

Another casualty was Jonathan Djanogly, Huntingdon MP, who was removed from his role as Justice Minister, following his magistrates courts closures programme.

Winners

Eric Pickles made keeping his job as Communities Secretary look easy and the Brentwood MP is now joined by the former leader of Brentwood council and current Great Yarmouth MP, Brandon Lewis, who takes a junior ministerial role.

Another Essex MP, Mark Francois, becomes a minister at defence.

Mark Francois Essex MP Mark Francois becomes a minister at defence

He'll be responsible for the welfare of military personnel and war veterans.

The MP for Rayleigh and Wickford has served as a TA officer in the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Grant Shapps, MP for Welwyn Hatfield, moved from Housing Minister when he was confirmed as the new Tory chairman, while Hertford and Stortford MP, Mark Prisk, moved from business to replace Mr Shapps, taking his housing brief.

Oliver Heald, MP for North East Hertfordshire, will be the new Solicitor General.

And Mark Lancaster, Milton Keynes MP, becomes a government whip.

After that lot, it's clear the region's MPs still wield a great deal of influence in government, although perhaps not quite so much as before.

Don't worry though, even if they're now ministers - our MPs assure us they'll still put their constituents first.

 
Deborah McGurran, Political editor, East of England Article written by Deborah McGurran Deborah McGurran Political editor, East of England

Truss to cabinet table in reshuffle

Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, is promoted to secretary of state for the environment in the government reshuffle that also promoted several other East Anglian MPs.

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    8.Baza

    The good things you highlighted were happening anyway, before the NHS killer's reforms, which though passed in Parliament have barely even begun to be implimented yet.....

    ....& you spoke too soon - have you now seen the story about how close to collapse dozens of hospitals are...???

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 12.

    A buffoon in the tory mould - he does not care about NHS like ordinary folk. If he spent 8 years coming up with what he did and then got the boot for it just goes to show how inefficient tories are just like their stewardship of the economy. He never listened to the majority of doctors, patients and so on but just the selected few to justify what he put forward.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 11.

    9. Adam. Do you and your family not feel reassured living in a civilised society where healthcare is not dependent upon income? Despite the spin, Lansley has created a hugely more bureaucratic NHS and worsening performance (check out before/after organograms and failing A&E; IP/OP targets). I live in hope that the next Secretary of State will not be Tory but someone who'll restore the NHS.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 10.

    Dreadfull act of hate against a fantastic NHS. The sad part is this usless bunch of politicians who have made these cuts will be long gone and forgotten after 2015. This is all about lining the pockets of their mates in the private sector.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 9.

    Lansley had the guts to face up to the opposition and get his health reforms through parliament, and in the end he got his way. So in my opinion he did well as Health Secretary. Let's hope that after the next election, another Tory health secretary will finish the job, without the 'moderating influence' of the Lib Dems. We may even see a return of the patients passport scheme. We live in hope.

 

Comments 5 of 13

 

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