York Outer MP Julian Sturdy is leading a group of politicians calling for a Minister for Antibiotics.

He has penned a letter signed by 35 parliamentarians of all parties, including five former cabinet ministers, to the Prime Minster.

It says the threat of drug-resistant infection is so great, it needs its own minister to deal with it.

The letter says: "We feel that the scale, complexity, and urgency, of this challenge requires leadership, visibility, and accountability – as well as an elected representative with the ability to work across Government departments and all areas of health and science (factory farming, for example, is already a major focus for those working on the prevention of drug-resistance – and is considered one of the most likely causes of the next influenza pandemic).

"We like to imagine a situation in which a named Cabinet Office Minister could co-ordinate the delivery of Government objectives via all relevant departments: HM Treasury: Health and Social Care; Environment Food and Rural Affairs; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The list goes on."

Mr Sturdy said: I think the terrible experience of coronavirus has raised public awareness of the need for societies to be ahead of the curve in tackling future public health challenges, and I hope this proposal can be a contribution to this.

I look forward to the Prime Minister’s response.”

He wrote in his capacity of chair of the all-party parliamentary group for antibiotics.