UK pharmacy minister in surprise resignation

The UK’s pharmacy minister, Alistair Burt, has made a sudden announcement that he will step down from his post.

Mr Burt said that his decision was not related to Brexit, but had been made several weeks ago.

“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,” he said.

The announcement came a day after a Twitter exchange with UK pharmacy publication Chemist + Druggist, following the publication of a C+D story claiming that an impact assessment of the planned £170 million cut to pharmacy funding had not been done.

Mr Burt said this claim was “simply not true” and that an impact assessment was being done.

C+D readers responded to the news of the Minister’s resignation with a certain amount of cynicism.

“He was an arrogant hatchet man who had no idea about community pharmacy and cared even less,” said reader Chris Armstrong.

“Clearly getting out before the heat of pharmacy ire for the cuts hits in October – because he has realised that every cut in pharmacy services or staffing will be blamed DIRECTLY on him,” wrote reader Stephen Eggleston.

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