• Edward Argar replaces Chris Skidmore as minister of state for health and social care
  • Mr Argar was junior minister for the Ministry of Justice
  • Mr Skidmore has been reappointed universities minister

A new health minister has been appointed to the Department of Health and Social Care following a Cabinet reshuffle this week.

Edward Argar, MP for Charnwood in Leicestershire, has replaced Chris Skidmore, who was appointed health minister in July this year, shortly after Boris Johnson became prime minister.

Mr Argar’s brief will include Brexit, finance, efficiency, commercial, capital and estates, operational performance, workforce, and transformation and provider policy.

Before joining DHSC, he was a junior minister for the Ministry of Justice.

His brief at MoJ at one point included offender health. In June this year, alongside former junior health minister Jackie Doyle-Price, he announced plans to expand the government’s community sentence treatment requirement pilots. These pilots were designed to assess the mental health needs of offenders whose crime makes them eligible for a community order.

In his maiden speech in Parliament in 2015, Mr Arger also called for improved dementia care and mental health provision.

Mr Argar opposed Brexit in the run up to the EU referendum. However, in last week’s Parliamentary vote to block a no-deal Brexit, he backed the prime minister, voting against the bill. 

Mr Skidmore has returned to the post he held before moving to DHSC – universities, science, research and innovation minister, a joint role across the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The role became vacant when Mr Johnson’s brother Jo resigned late last week