Elections always bring a new generation of eager and ambitious campaigners. You can read about five to watch in the generation here. Yet spare a thought for those leaving the Westminster scene today. In addition to those who stood down voluntarily, a number of health influencers have lost their seats.
Perhaps the name most associated with health and care in the last Parliament was Dr Sarah Wollaston. A member of Parliament since 2010, Wollaston was defeated by the Conservatives, her former party. A GP, Wollaston was widely respected across Parliament on health and care matters. Chairing its Health and Social Care Select Committee she championed a number of key causes, including prominently calling for a cross-party solution to social care.
Other departures include:
- Luciana Berger, one of Wollaston’s Liberal Democrat and Committee colleagues, lost her battle to take Finchley and Golders Green. Like Wollaston, Berger was a new recruit to the Liberal Democrats, joining after a brief sojourn with Change UK, having quit the Labour Party over anti-semitism. A former Labour Shadow Minister for Public Health, and later Mental Health, Berger was a dedicated champion for mental health in Parliament
- Paula Sherriff, a member of Labour’s shadow health team failed to retain her Dewsbury seat. She was a key campaigner on women’s health
- Dr Paul Williams lost his Stockton South seat to the Conservatives. A GP by profession, Williams had been member of the Health and Social Care Committee since 2017
- Eleanor Smith, a former NHS theatre nurse of 40 years, and the first black President of Unison, also lost her seat to the Conservative Party
- Karen Lee was defeated in Lincoln. A former nurse, she had campaigned on improving cancer care during her time in Parliament. Along with Smith, she was one of five nurses elected to the 2017 Parliament, along with Conservatives Maria Caulfield, and Nadine Dorries – who retain their seats – and Anne Milton, who stood as an independent and lost
- Liz McInnes, a former biochemist, lost her Heywood and Middleton seat to the Conservative Party