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PM Sunak appoints Steve Barclay as health secretary; moves Therese Coffey to Defra

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Prime minister Rishi Sunak appointed Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire Steve Barclay as secretary of state for health and social care on 25 October 2022.

He previously held the same role between 5 July and 6 September — after Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary.

Mr Barclay shared his ‘delight’ on Twitter.

As head of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) his responsibilities will include “overall financial control and oversight of NHS delivery and performance” as well as “oversight of social care policy”.

Mr Barclay was succeeded by Thérèse Coffey, who thanked her “great ministerial team” at the DHSC in a Tweet, before taking up her new responsibility as environment secretary in the new cabinet.

Previously appointed chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office between 15 September 2021 and July 2022, he was also chief secretary to the Treasury from 13 February 2020 to 15 September 2021; secretary of state for Exiting the European Union from 16 November 2018 to 31 January 2020; and minister of state for the Department of Health and Social Care from January to November 2018 after a stint as economic secretary to the Treasury from June 2017 to January 2018.

The son of a trade union official father and a civil servant mother, Mr Barclay, the youngest of three brothers, came from the first generation of the family to go to university, reading history at at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He later studied law at the College of Law, Chester, qualifying as a solicitor in 1998.

He worked as an insurance company lawyer for Axa Insurance, as a regulator for the Financial Services Authority, and as director of regulatory affairs and then head of anti-money laundering and sanctions at Barclays Retail Bank.

Mr Barclay is married and has two children.

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