Rob CallisterThe Isle of Man’s health minister has been sacked after seven weeks in the post.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan said he asked Rob Callister MHK to step down after deciding the health department needed a “different approach”.

Mr Callister said the island’s politics “can be extremely difficult and unfair at times” and he had not been given a “fair opportunity” to make changes.

“To say this announcement has broken me is an understatement,” he added.

Lawrie Hooper MHK will now return to head the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) while remaining Enterprise Minister.

Mr Hooper had been moved to his enterprise role in a mini-reshuffle overseen by Mr Cannan in September, which also saw Mr Callister take up his health role.

Mr Cannan said the change was needed because the DHSC was at a “critical juncture”.

Reacting to the news online, Mr Callister said Manx politics “can be extremely difficult and unfair at times” and he would make “a more formal statement in due course”.

The chief minister said the island’s health and care sector was facing a “complex set of challenges” and, after recent talks, he had “reluctantly concluded” the DHSC needed new leadership.

He thanked Mr Callister for his “positive work” and said he expected the Onchan MHK to be “back contributing in the near future”.

It is the third time a minister has left the Council of Ministers during Mr Cannan’s administration, which began in October 2021.

David Ashford resigned as treasury minister in May in the wake of an employment tribunal which found the island’s top medic was unfairly dismissed while he was in his previous position as health minister during the pandemic.

That was followed by the resignation of Tim Crookall as enterprise minister in July after he decided he could no longer “play an effective part in the Council of Ministers team”.