Jacqui Smith has quit as chair of two east London NHS hospital trusts to become an education minister in Sir Keir Starmer's government.

The former home secretary has stepped down as chair in common of both Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) and Barts Health NHS Trust, it was announced today (July 8).

Ms Smith will join Sir Keir's Labour administration after the party achieved a landslide victory over Rishi Sunak's Conservatives at the July 4 general election.

She will also become a House of Lords member after three years as chair of the two NHS trusts, which run hospitals such as Queen's Hospital in Romford and The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Ms Smith said: "Whilst I’m absolutely delighted [at her government role], I’m sad that it means that I’ll need to resign my role as Chair in Common of Barts Health and BHRUT with immediate effect."

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She became Britain's first female home secretary in 2007, remaining in the role until 2009 when she resigned amidst the expenses scandal.

She will serve as Minister for Skills, Further and Higher Education in Sir Keir's government.

Shane DeGaris, group chief executive, said: “We are enormously sad to lose Jacqui and have benefitted greatly from her experience and skills, but we wish her well in her new role.

“Any decision about who will replace her, and when, will be a matter for discussion with NHS England, which is responsible for appointing all trust chairs, and the North East London Integrated Care Board."

Vice chair of BHRUT, Mehboob Khan, will become interim chair and his counterpart Adam Sharples will perform the same role at Barts.