Sajid Javid to address MPs as Health Secretary for first time

The new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care will speak to the Commons today about when restrictions will be lifted

Sajid Javid to address the Commons as Health Secretary for first time today (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sajid Javid will address the Commons for the first time since rejoining the Cabinet today.

Javid, a former Chancellor and Home Secretary, has replaced Matt Hancock as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

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At a glance: 5 key points

– New health secretary Sajid Javid will address MPs as Health Secretary for the first time today

– Some MPs who are opposed to a further lockdown hope Javid’s approach will less cautious than Hancock’s

– Javid has said that “returning to normal as soon and as quickly as possible” is his “most immediate priority”

– An update is expected today when the next stage of restrictions can be lifted

– Javid is unlikely to push for restrictions to be lifted earlier than currently planned, although he is reportedly confident that it will not require further delay

What’s been said?

Tweeting after his appointment as announced, Sajid Javid said: “Honoured to have been asked to serve as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at this critical time.

“I look forward to contributing to our fight against the pandemic, and serving my country from the Cabinet once again.”

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt Tweeted his congratulations to Javid, saying: “Congrats @sajidjavid - excellent choice. I worked closely w[ith]/him 4(sic) many years & found him smart, decent &(perhaps rarely in the trade) 100% full of integrity. Best poss news 4(sic) social care: he 'gets it' from his time at DCLG (Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government) & as an ex-Chllr (Chancellor) will negotiate formidably with HMT

Former adviser to the Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, was less complimentary, he said: “If I hadn’t tricked PM into firing Saj, we’d have had a HMT (Her Majesty’s Treasury) with useless SoS/spads (Secretary of State/advisers), no furlough scheme, total chaos instead of JOINT (number) 10/11 team which was a big success”.

“Saj = bog standard = chasing headlines + failing = awful for NHS. Need #RegimeChange.”

Labour’s shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said: “Sajid Javid failed to reverse the previous eight years of social care cuts or deliver the investment our NHS needed in his time as chancellor of the Exchequer.

“He now needs to explain how he will bring down sky-high waiting lists, ensure people get the cancer care they need, get young people vital mental health support and crucially fix social care, which has suffered swingeing cuts under the Conservatives.”

Background

Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary after it emerged that he had been having an affair with an old university friend he had hired to work for him in government.

CCTV footage obtained by the Sun showed Hancock in an intimate embrace with Gina Coladangelo in his office, at a time when Covid restrictions permitted close-contact with anyone outside your own household.

Hancock resigned on Saturday night, though many criticised the PM for not sacking him prior to that, after the story was confirmed on Thursday night.

Sajid Javid returns to government after resigning as Chancellor in February last year, over a dispute about members of his staff, which is thought to have been caused by Dominic Cummings.