A Lincolnshire MP has been appointed health secretary amid a cabinet reshuffle. Victoria Atkins, the member for Louth and Horncastle, was promoted to the role of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on Monday, November 13.
Having served as financial secretary to the Treasury since October 2022, this will be the 47-year-old’s first senior cabinet position. The Conservative Party announced the promotion on X, formerly Twitter, and said she intends to ‘cut waiting lists’.
Mrs Atkins was the fourth MP to change roles in a reshuffle triggered by the sacking of home secretary Suella Braverman. Her recent remarks that police officers were being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protestors had been highly controversial.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appointed former foreign secretary James Cleverly as the new home secretary. The biggest surprise was the appointment of former PM David Cameron as foreign secretary, seven years after he resigned following the Brexit referendum.
The London-born Victoria Atkins has been MP for Louth and Horncastle since 2015 and first became a junior minister in 2017. In addition to her role as a financial secretary, she has also served as the under-secretary for vulnerability, safeguarding and countering extremism within the Home Office.
She was one of many to resign during the parliamentary crisis in July 2022 that brought an end to Boris Johnson’s premiership. As Mrs Atkins takes the reins, the pay dispute that prompted a wave of doctors’ strikes over the past year is still yet to be resolved.