Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Andrew Lansley, international man of mystery

Earlier today, Andrew Lansley was just very cross. He wasn’t Leader of the House anymore, and he wasn’t the UK’s nomination for European Commissioner. But in a few hours, the former Health Secretary has gone from just being grumpy to being an international man of mystery. Read his exchange of letters with David Cameron on his departure from the government – and the end of his parliamentary career. I have emphasised a particular point of interest in each.


Dear Prime Minister,

For nearly nine years, I have been a member of your Shadow Cabinet and Cabinet. This has been a great privilege and I am grateful to you for this.

I am proud of what we achieved: transforming the public’s view of the Conservative Party’s commitment to the NHS; becoming the party most trusted with the NHS by the Service’s 60th Anniversary; shaping and implementing the comprehensive reforms which bring clinical leadership and quality and outcomes to the fore in shaping NHS services; bringing local government leadership and national co-ordination to the promotion of public health; achieving dramatic reductions in the costs of bureaucracy, increased clinical staffing and the lowest ever waiting times.  The NHS is my passion as you know, and I can see that we have taken, and are taking, the difficult decisions which will safeguard it for the future.

As you know, as Leader of the House, I have most recently led the successful delivery of the Government’s legislative programme; and piloted continuing reform in a House that is increasingly relevant to the public.

We have worked together for twenty-five years.  I have given you unswerving support and I will continue to do so.

Earlier this year, I told you that I did not intend to stand again at the next election.  You supported my ambition to continue my life of public service in challenging and important roles. 

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