Who is the new health secretary? Victoria Atkins' career history

Victoria Atkins is the new health secretary. (REUTERS)
Victoria Atkins is the new health secretary. (REUTERS)

Victoria Atkins has been named health secretary in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle.

The reshuffle saw Suella Braverman ousted as home secretary and former prime minister David Cameron appointed foreign secretary.

Steve Barclay was appointed environment secretary, opening up the health secretary role for Ms Atkins.

But who is Victoria Atkins and what roles has she held previously?

Who is Victoria Atkins?

Victoria Atkins is the health and social care secretary, as of November 13, 2023. She has been an MP for Louth and Horncastle since May 2015.

Ms Atkins is from Lancashire and went to school in Blackpool. She studied law at Cambridge University and moved to London to begin her practice.

Her husband is CEO of a food company. In her personal life, Ms Atkins revealed: “We like to spend what little spare time we have running around after our son, Monty, building sandcastles on the beautiful Lincolnshire coastline and pulling our boots on to walk the Wolds.”

What other positions has she held?

Previously, she worked as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and before that, was the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice and Minister for Afghan Resettlement.

Ms Atkins has also previously held the position of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability at the Home Office.

Before her career in politics, Ms Atkins worked as a criminal barrister specialising in prosecuting serious organised crime.

Speaking of her legal career, Ms Atkins said: “It was a privilege to represent the decent, law-abiding majority in my work prosecuting hardened criminals.

“I have prosecuted international drug trafficking rings, gun-runners and fraudsters who steal £100s million from British taxpayers.”

What does the health secretary do?

The health secretary is responsible for the overall financial control and oversight of NHS delivery and performance, as well as the oversight of social care policy.

The role has previously been held by Steve Barclay, Thérèse Coffey, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, and Jeremy Hunt.