The Spectator

A healthy reshuffle

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Patricia Hewitt to stand down as Health Secretary. No surprises there. Gordon has been saying throughout his grand tour that, while education is his “passion”, health is his “priority”. And no wonder: the Tories have stolen Labour’s lead on health policy, perhaps Cameron’s most remarkable and certainly his cheekiest achievement. Brown is an implacable believer in the NHS and its funding system and, in private, becomes positively irate when the virtues of continental financing structures are mentioned. For the Tories to have stormed on to this terrain is sacrilege for Brown – almost literally. So who will be the new Health Secretary? Ed Balls? I’d give it to John Hutton.