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Neil O’Brien resigns as pharmacy minister amid cabinet reshuffle

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Neil O’Brien was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care quits as pharmacy minister  

Neil O’Brien handed in his resignation to Rishi Sunak as the PM reshuffled his cabinet for possibly the last time before the General Election.

Mr O’Brien said he wanted to spend “more time” with his family and focus on his “constituency”.

The cabinet reshuffle took place this morning (13 November) during which several Ministers submitted their resignations to PM Rishi Sunak after he sacked Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.

He was appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care last year on 7 September 2022.

Previously, he was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities from September 2021 to July 2022.

Mr O’Brien announced the news on X (formerly Twitter) this morning, he wrote: “It’s been a privilege to serve at DHSC. Great ministerial team & spads and some fab officials.

“But with so much going on locally I want to focus 100% on constituency work so have asked to go to back benches. I’m also keen to see more of our two small children (artwork attached).”

The former pharmacy minister was to play a key role in driving PM Rishi Sunak’s smoking ban for the younger generation.

Moreover, now-former Health Minister, Will Quince, also shared the news of his resignation online through X, it read: “I have asked the Prime Minister that I be allowed to step down from my role as Minister of State at DHSC and he has kindly agreed.

“I would like to thank all of the brilliant civil servants with whom it has been an honour and privilege to serve.”

Mr Quince also shared his statement on the General Election next year, stating “not to seek re-adoption as the Conservative Party candidate for the Colchester constituency”.

He said: “However, being a Member of Parliament and Minister of State at the Department of Health & Social Care is all consuming and I know the impact it has had on my young family. I have always given my all in every job I have had, but I am acutely aware that I am neglecting the most important job I have, being a good dad to two young girls.

“My decision is driven by my desire to put my family and daughters first as they grow up. I am incredibly proud of what my team and I have achieved and delivered for Colchester.”

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