Shadow health secretary John Healey has resigned from the shadow cabinet, HSJ has learned.

A source told HSJ that Mr Healey handed in his resignation to Labour leader Ed Miliband a week ago. It is understood the resignation is due to family reasons and is “nothing political”.

In his resignation letter dated 30 September (see file, right), he wrote: “Frontline frontbench politics makes great demands on us all, but even greater demands on our families. They sacrifice a great deal of the time together that for others is what being a family means.”

The letter continues: “I am proud we’ve led opposition to the Tories’ NHS plans from the outset, built a wide coalition of criticism to back our Labour attack and got strong local campaigns off the ground, with Labour and our unions working closely together.”

In response, Mr Miliband wrote yesterday (see file): “In holding David Cameron and Andrew Lansley to account you have not only spoken for the public in defending the NHS, but crucially you have built a broad coalition of support against the government’s plans amongst health professionals and bodies.”

Mr Healey was appointed to the post in August 2010 and has led the opposition’s campaign to halt the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill.

It is thought a reshuffle of the shadow cabinet will be announced tomorrow and a replacement shadow health secretary named.