Sajid Javid is the new Health Secretary, replacing Matt Hancock following his resignation.
Javid has been out of government ever since he resigned as Chancellor in protest at the conditions Boris Johnson was trying to impose on him during his reshuffle. Since then, he has been busy on the backbenches but bit in a particularly troublesome fashion. As a former Chancellor and Home Secretary he has the necessary experience of dealing with difficult policy issues and big departments.
It’s worth noting that some of the changes that Javid resisted have since been reversed, with the Number 10 and Treasury teams no longer working in step.
As a former Treasury man, he will have a particular perspective on the NHS, largely that it endlessly needs more money. He will have to work out how to direct what money there is at the five million strong waiting lists which have grown to such an enormous size only partly because of the pandemic. He will also have to pilot through reforms that Hancock had drawn up which, as I reported earlier this week, were going to cause an almighty row about the Health Secretary’s power. It will be interesting to see whether Javid feels it is worth junking these proposals before the bill containing them is published.
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