An East Lancashire MP has been appointed as a Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care.

MP for Pendle, Andrew Stephenson, has joined the department following a cabinet reshuffle earlier this week by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, which saw Home Secretary Suella Braverman sacked and ex-Prime Minister David Cameron brought in as Foreign Secretary.  

Whilst precise details of his new ministerial brief are still to be confirmed, Mr Stephenson is the new ‘Minister for Health and Secondary Care’.

Mr Stephenson’s responsibilities will therefore include areas such as elective care recovery and screening, alongside the fight against major diseases like cancer, diabetes and stroke.

It's the latest ministerial role Mr Stephenson has been appointed to; his first coming in April 2019 as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Industry, which he held for a little under four months.

He then became Minister of State for Africa and International Development from July 2019 until February 2020, before becoming Minister of State for Transport, a position he held until July 2022.

He was then made chair of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio for two months in July 2022 after Boris Johnson quit as Prime Minister, as well as being appointed as a member of the late Queen's Privy Council.

He was removed from this role - and replaced by Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry - when Liz Truss took over in No. 10, and went on to serve as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Communities between September and October 2022, and then as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury from October 2022 to November 2023.

Mr Stephenson said: “It was a pleasure to be asked by the Prime Minister to become a Health Minister in this week’s ministerial reshuffle.

"As an Ambulance Service first responder for the past nine years, a volunteer vaccinator during the pandemic and someone who has in recent years needed hospital treatment I have seen first-hand the incredible work of NHS staff.

"Helping NHS services recover from the legacy of the pandemic, whilst dealing with winter pressures and the challenges of inflation will not be easy, but it is a challenge I am looking forward to.

"I am also keen to ensure that significant manifesto commitments, such as the pledge to deliver 50,000 nurses and 40 new hospitals remain on track.

"Especially as one of those 40 new hospitals is Airedale, which is used by so many Colne and West Craven residents.

"Whilst my primary focus has and always will be representing Pendle, it is a privilege to continue to serve in government and hopefully be able to help deliver better health outcomes for people locally and nationally.”

The new hospital Mr Stephenson referred to, in Steeton, West Yorkshire, will replace the existing Airedale General Hospital which was discovered to have RAAC concrete.