Pharmacy minister Neil O’Brien has resigned from his post, saying that he wants to focus on constituency work and time with his family.
This comes as other junior ministers, including former pharmacy minister and then minister for Health and Secondary Care Will Quince have also handed in their resignations.
It follows a major cabinet shake-up, including the dismissal of home secretary Suella Braverman and the return to government of former Prime Minister David Cameron.
But former health secretary and current Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has been confirmed to be staying in post.
Mr O’Brien most recently served as the minister for primary care and public health, which included responsibility for pharmacy and general practice.
He posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) today that it had been a ‘privilege’ to serve at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) alongside a ‘great ministerial team and spads [special advisors] and some fab officials’.
But he added ‘with so much going on locally I want to focus 100% on constituency work’ so had asked to go back to the back benches.
And he said that he was also keen to spend more time with his two small children.
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) pic.twitter.com/auCMHBxo0U
— Neil O'Brien MP (@NeilDotObrien) November 13, 2023
Mr Quince also shared the news of his resignation on X, posting a copy of the letter he had sent to the Prime Minister asking to be allowed to step down, which he said the PM had agreed to.
‘It has been a huge honour and a privilege to have served you in the Department of Health and Social Care working to reduce the NHS Covid backlogs, recover urgent and emergency care and cement the UK as a Life Sciences superpower,’ he wrote.
And he said that he wanted to focus on his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, his constituency duties, time with his family and explore new opportunities.
I have asked the Prime Minister that I be allowed to step down from my role as Minister of State at @DHSCgovuk 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. pic.twitter.com/cdYpoKztmS
— Will Quince MP 🇬🇧 (@willquince) November 13, 2023