Ben Bradshaw MP, minister of state for health services

Since this year has been dominated by Lord Darzi’s next stage review, it has not always been easy for the other health ministers to make their mark.

But former journalist Ben Bradshaw - articulate and never afraid of a photoshoot - has made an impression. He got stuck into Commons debates on the Health and Social Care Bill, reassuring healthcare providers about the future of regulation, and later played an active part in the development of the failure regime.

His accusation that GPs operate “gentlemen’s agreements” was perhaps a little off the official government line, but it was indicative that he was prepared to take on the British Medical Association - it is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it and he has given every indication of relishing this role.

If the economic crisis had not forced Gordon Brown to scale down his Cabinet reshuffle, Mr Bradshaw may have been in for promotion.