Lansley: “I didn’t want to go” in Cabinet reshuffle

FORMER Health Secretary and Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley admitted today he “didn’t want to go” in Tuesday’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Lansley was sacked by David Cameron after coming in for heavy criticism about changes to the National Health Service since taking up the job after the General Election in 2010.

He will now take on the role of Leader of the House of Commons, managing the Government’s business in Parliament, but told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Bigger Breakfast presenter Paul Stainton: “I didn’t want to go.

However he added: “I completely understood that, in a Government, and indeed for that matter in a political party, one person cannot as it were monopolise such a major part of the Government and a party’s agenda forever.”

He went on to say that he had been the Tories’ health spokesman for nearly nine years and that “for me to carry on would run the risk that effectively the Conservative Party had nobody else who had really had anything like that degree of experience and knowledge”.

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Mr Lansley and the Prime Minister had a “very good conversation”, he said, adding: “I think we were clear, and I was clear, that the things that we had set out to do, improving the health service, delivering efficiency savings, and reforming, were all established, and very much on track.”

He also defended the appointment of his successor, Jeremy Hunt, amid criticisms the former Culture Secretary was not up to the job, and said he was “proud of many things I’ve done at the Department of Health”.

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He also believed Cambridgeshire was a “good example” of many of the changes being put in place nationwide, with a Health and Wellbeing Board and Clinical Commissioning Group established in the county.

“I’m a reformer by nature,” Mr Lansley said. “I want to really put the House of Commons back to the forefront of public debate.”

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