Former Brighton nurse and councillor becomes Health Minister in government reshuffle

Posted On 17 Sep 2021 at 4:43 pm

A former Brighton nurse has become a Health Minister in Boris Johnson’s government as the reshuffle continues.

Maria Caulfield

Maria Caulfield, a former nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, will have responsibility for primary care and mental health.

She said that she was honoured and delighted by her promotion to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The 48-year-old MP for Lewes started her political career as a member of Brighton and Hove City Council.

She won a safe Labour seat for the Conservatives in the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward and served as a councillor for four years, most of it as the cabinet member for housing.

At the 2015 general election she defeated a former coalition government minister, the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, to win a seat in the House of Commons.

She has continued to work as a nurse during the coronavirus pandemic, specialising in cancer care at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Her mother died of breast cancer.

She has previously served as vice-chair of the Conservative Party for women and parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Maria Caulfield is not the first former Royal Sussex medic to become a Conservative Junior Health Minister.

Dan Poulter, 42, held the post in the coalition government for three years from September 2012 until May 2015.

Dr Poulter received an apology in open court and damages from the Sunday Times in February 2019 after the newspaper published another MP’s claims that he had sexually assaulted three female MPs.

Some believe that the false claims, for which no evidence has ever been produced, cast an unfair shadow over Dr Poulter’s political career.

Earlier this year he became a non-executive director of Kanabo Group, a medical cannabis research company.

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