Sajid Javid outlines his 'priorities' as health secretary
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Vote in our poll on whether the former home secretary and chancellor is the right choice to lead Britain out of the crisis. And let us know more about what you think in the comments section.
Our poll comes as Mr Javid has said his “most immediate priority” will be getting the country through the pandemic.
He said: “I just want to start by saying I think Matt Hancock worked incredibly hard, he achieved a lot, and I’m sure he will have more to offer in public life.
“I was honoured to take up this position.
“I also know that it comes with a huge responsibility and I will do everything I can to make sure that I deliver for this great country.
“We are still in a pandemic and I want to see that come to an end as soon as possible and that will be my most immediate priority, to see that we can return to normal as soon and as quickly as possible.”
Mr Javid’s return to the Cabinet came just 90 minutes after Mr Hancock announced his resignation on Saturday evening.
He stepped down in the wake of the leaking of a video on Friday showing him breaking social distancing rules by kissing an aide in his ministerial office.
Boris Johnson had initially stuck by Mr Hancock following the CCTV footage that showed him kissing Gina Coladangelo, taken last month.
No 10 said the Prime Minister considered the matter closed following Mr Hancock’s apology.
But pressure mounted throughout Friday and into Saturday for him to go.
Just after 6pm on Saturday, Mr Hancock said he had been to see Mr Johnson to resign as his personal life threatened to distract from the pandemic effort.
Less than two hours later, Mr Javid had been confirmed in the post.
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As well as the pandemic, the new Health Secretary has a number of issues to deal with such as upcoming NHS reforms, the backlog patients are facing for treatment, and a long-expected social care plan.
He will also face questions over NHS pay and staff burnout, as British Medical Association (BMA) council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul warned he faces a “baptism of fire”.
Mr Javid is expected to make his first Commons statement today as lockdown-sceptic MPs hope he pushes for a swift lifting of restrictions in a break from the approach of his predecessor.
While it is not expected he will bring what is left of lockdown to a close any earlier than July 19, he is reported to be confident the measures will not extend past that date.
Mr Javid is considered to be more in the so-called “hawks” camp of Cabinet opinion over the approach to coronavirus.
In comparison, Mr Hancock had been considered a “dove” who pressed for more stringent restrictions.
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