Alistair Burt announces resignation as Health Minister
Alistair Burt has announced he is resigning from the Government, 24 years after he first became a minister.
Mr Burt made a statement at the despatch box after Health Questions revealing his departure.
He said the decision had been taken prior to the EU referendum and was not related to the decision to leave the EU.
“Twenty-four years and one month ago, I answered my first question as a junior minister in oral questions and I’ve just completed my last oral questions,” Mr Burt said.
“This is not a sudden post-Brexit resignation, it’s not catching; a few weeks ago I made clear to the Secretary of State and to the Prime Minister and the Chief Whip that I wouldn’t after the referendum be seeking a post in what I expected to be a reshuffled government – and in the event, I hope to carry on with my duties until September but there won’t be another oral questions.
“So taking the chance that most ministers don’t get because we never know when the end will come, could I thank colleagues for their forbearance over many years in subjects as varied as child support, disability, the Arab Spring, and the relentless pursuit of mental health data from the Honourable Lady from Liverpool Wavertree – to thank colleagues very much for their forbearance, to say I’m looking forward to taking part in more questions from another seat in the chamber, but to wish all colleagues very well indeed.”
John Bercow responded to Mr Burt by praising him as an “extremely popular and respected minister who commands widespread affection and loyalty in all parts of the House”.
Before joining the Department of Health after last year’s election, Mr Burt's frontbench career encompassed spells in the Foreign Office between 2010 and 2013, Shadow Communities Secretary in the early years of David Cameron’s leadership of the Conservative party, and stints in the Department of Social Security in John Major’s government.