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Victoria Atkins replaces Steve Barclay as health secretary


Victoria Atkins has been appointed health and social care secretary in a cabinet reshuffle on 13 November, after Steve Barclay was moved to the post of environment secretary.

Atkins has been MP for Louth and Horncastle in Lincolnshire since 2015 and served as financial secretary to the Treasury since October 2022. She is one of only a handful of women who have held the post: Thérèse Coffey, who held the job for six weeks in 2022, Patricia Hewitt, from 2005 to 2007, Virginia Bottomley, from 1992 to 1995, and Barbara Castle, from 1974 to 1976.

Atkins hit the headlines in 2015 when she vetoed the appointment of Niamh Eastwood, executive director at Release, to an advisory committee because …



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