South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has resigned from his ministerial position as part of Theresa May’s reshuffle, and will return to the backbenches.
Mr Dunne had served in Government since 2010 – first as a Government Whip until 2012, followed by Minister for Defence Procurement until 2016, and then as Minister of State for Health for the past 18 months.
Ministers and Government Whips are restricted in what they can say in the House of Commons Chamber, so Mr Dunne said he was looking forward to using his freedom to continue to champion issues affecting Shropshire in a more direct way.
Mr Dunne said: “I left my position as Minister of State for Health yesterday, as part of the Prime Minister’s reshuffle. It was a tremendous honour to serve in Government since 2010 and I have been proud of the role I was able to play in sharing responsibility for the government’s work and helping deliver reform to improve people’s lives.
I return to the backbenches, somewhat surprised by the sense of liberation I have personally, but also with optimism for the future. My main purpose since first elected in 2005 has been to serve the people of South Shropshire, and my determination to do so is unchanged. So once again able to speak freely in the Chamber, I look forward to fighting our corner a little more visibly and directly from the floor of the House of Commons. In fact I have already done so this afternoon in the House raising the opportunity for Bridgnorth and Ludlow Community Hospitals to help relieve winter pressure on Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust through their community beds for those patients no longer in need of acute care.
Mr Dunne added “I am enormously grateful for the kind comments already received from several constituents and the generous comment posted on Twitter from Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, for whom I have tremendous respect.”
Jeremy Hunt tweet about Philip Dunne
Philip Dunne's letter to the Prime Minister
Prime Minister’s letter to Philip Dunne