Andrew Lansley is to be the next health secretary, it has been confirmed.

His appointment is part of the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition deal agreed on Tuesday night. The deal is also expected to see a Liberal Democrat in each government department, including the Department of Health.

Among the other measures set out in the agreement are plans to “significantly accelerate” efforts to reduce the budget deficit - including £6bn of spending reductions this year. An emergency Budget is to take place within 50 days.

Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress last month, Mr Lansley said: “Over the last six years I have become someone who is committed to the NHS who happens to be in politics, not an emissary from politics to the NHS.”

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