Dame Andrea Leadsom has been handed the portfolio for public health, Start for Life and primary care in her role as parliamentary under secretary of state in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The MP for South Northamptonshire was moved to DHSC in prime minister Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle on 13 November, with the government now confirming her remit for primary care.
Her brief covers general practice, pharmacy, prescribing and dentistry, as well as issues under the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), such as tobacco, obesity, addiction, children’s health, health disparities and social prescribing.
Dame Andrea was previously the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy between July 2019 and February 2020 and served as secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs between July 2016 and June 2017.
Before that, she served as economic secretary to the Treasury from April 2014 until May 2015, and minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from May 2015 until July 2016.
Dame Andrea also ran for leadership of the Conservative Party in July 2016 following the resignation of former prime minister David Cameron, but pulled out of the race to make way for Theresa May to enter Downing Street.
On joining DHSC as a minister earlier in the month, Dame Andrea posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she was ‘looking forward to getting stuck in’ and ‘supporting our fabulous GPs, dentists and community pharmacists’.
Her appointment follows the resignation of the previous post-holder Neil O’Brien who said he wanted to focus on constituency work and time with his family.