Corbyn names new shadow health secretary

Assisted dying campaigner Heidi Alexander joins new Labour line up

Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Heidi Alexander as new shadow health secretary, following his victory in the Labour leadership contest.

Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East, has some previous experience of health sector issues. As chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life, she was a key figure in campaigning for dying adults to have a greater say in where, when and how they die.

The group was responsible for the Assisted Dying Bill, which went before MPs on Friday and was defeated overwhelmingly, 330 votes to 118. Ms Alexander was one of 72 Labour MPs to vote ‘yes’.

She has previously been a Lewisham Council member, a parliamentary private secretary to the shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, and more recently an opposition whip and shadow minister for London.

Ms Alexander has consistently voted to restrict the provision of services to private patients by the NHS, almost always voted against NHS reforms under which GPs buy services on patients’ behalf, and generally backed smoking bans.

She will replace the unsuccessful party leadership candidate Andy Burnham in the shadow cabinet position, after he was announced as shadow home secretary.

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