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Hunt replaces Lansley as Health Secretary

Andrew Lansley has lost his position as Health Secretary in a government reshuffle.

Former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been confirmed to replace Lansley.

In David Cameron's first cabinet reshuffle since he became prime minister in 2010, Lansley has been demoted to Leader of the Commons.
Despite his controversial health reforms being awarded royal assent and making it onto the statute book in March this year, many believe it was Lansley's failure to communicate the reforms to NHS staff and the wider public that has caused him to go.

No 10 confirmed both Lansley and Hunt's new roles on Twitter.

Speaking to the BBC immediately after being appointed as Health Secretary, Hunt said he was “incredibly honoured” to take on the role.

“It is a huge task and the biggest privilege of my life,” he told the BBC.

Both the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said they were looking forward to working with Hunt.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, said the organisation will be looking to "ensure the nursing voice is heard" and "set out the concerns of the nursing profession" in a meeting with Hunt "soon".

Cathy Warwick, Chief executive of the RCM, will also be seeking an urgent meeting with Hunt to raise the issue of midwifery shortages and to seek confirmation that government pledges on maternity services announced in May are honoured and delivered.

Responding to Lansley's departure, Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott wrote on Twitter: “Sacking Andrew Lansley is a belated admission from this government that their ideological NHS reforms are a disaster.”

Also not one to shy away from controversy, Hunt faced calls to resign from his post as culture secretary in June this year, after it had emerged his former adviser had provided detailed evidence to Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corporation about the handling of the lucrative BSkyB bid.

Are you glad to see Lansley go? What is your view on Hunt as the new Health Secretary?