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Burnham promises to ask for Hunt no-confidence debate

Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has promised to push for a vote of no confidence in the health secretary Jeremy Hunt in Parliament, following a widely-supported petition.

The online petition has now reached almost 200,000 signatures but the Government’s mandatory response last week did not address the calls for a vote of no confidence in Mr Hunt.

However Mr Burnham, who is one of the frontrunners to be the next Labour Party leader, has promised that he will apply for the House of Commons to schedule the debate when it comes back from summer recess.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Burnham said: ‘On behalf of the 196,000 people who have no confidence in @Jeremy_Hunt, I will apply for debate when [the] House returns.’

It comes as a group of GPs and doctors including Resilient GP’s Dr Zoe Norris and the NHA Party’s Dr Clive Peedell, and supported by new GP pressure group GP Survival, wrote its own response to the Government regarding the petition.

Their letter said the Government’s response, which focused solely on seven-day working, was ‘disappointing’, adding: ‘The response plainly avoids the question at hand, making no mention of Jeremy Hunt or a vote of no confidence. Instead it focuses on seven-day working, assuming incorrectly that this is the signatories’ only concern.’

It added: ‘If seven-day service proposals and some belligerent remarks about doctors were all that had angered NHS professionals, there would be no petition.

‘Jeremy Hunt has a track record of bad decisions, poor policy and failure to engage with professionals. This was the last straw. The NHS sat up, took note and decided enough was enough.’

Readers' comments (17)

  • Surely Jeremy has condemned himself by his own statements . 5000 more GP's by 2020 . He should know this is impossible because of lack of trainers . QED he is a mathematical incompetent.

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  • I have every confidence in Jezza's ability to bullshit.

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  • Vinci Ho

    As I said before , it is politically ignorant not to exploit this petition result as these Labour leaders forerunners embarrassed themselves in the saga of Welfare voting last week. Now the party is facing a prospect of letting a far left candidate win the race of leadership. They need an urgent shift of focus of attention and direct attacks on Tories by all means.
    Not because I support you politically , Andy , but I should remind you that you have all the 'right' reasons to fire all kinds of cylinders to your nemesis in House of Commons.

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  • JC is MP in an area where a donkey with a blue rosette would get elected . He needs a full spectrum revalidation where he has to demonstrate competence in his field . Running the NHS -no ruining the NHS - yes .

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  • Sent an email this morning to BBC requesting that they look into this petition and give it the deserved publicity.
    Wonder whether this govt agency can show some mettle and do the right thing.

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  • Kudos @ Sanjeev Juneja and to everyone trying to get the media take note. Hopefully as Vinci Ho says the opposition will be foolish not to take into account NHS's biggest united show against an incompetent so and so!

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  • Go Burnham. Completely incompetent himself who flip-flopped on NHS policy. We can enjoy him annoying Hunt but we would certainly not want him in charge or all NHS policy would be in the hands of elected local Government.
    'Grannies hip or local nursery' how would they decide.
    We need take the politics out of the NHS and have a gron up debate about what it is able to provide on the taxes we are prepared to pay

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  • We need take the politics out of the NHS and have a grown up debate about what it is able to provide on the taxes we are prepared to pay"
    I realise people come to this forum to moan and get things off their chest....

    But what, in an analysis, even at level 1 sixth-form class debate, does "take the politics out of the NHS" mean ? My adult memory goes back to the '92 election when that poor ENT surgeon got roasted by the media because Kinnock tried to score some political point about "Mary's ear" or some such. Doctors whinge about the NHS;politicians play the blame game about it. I need my car cleaned. I engage a car valeting service. You take take the poltics out of that - but not out of an enormous nationised bureaucracy at the apex of which is a front bench cabinet minister.

    In many ways, the current Governement is seeking to "take the politics" out of the NHS - but divesting itself of the responsibility for it. Did you buy British Leyland cars in the 1970s?

    I think people need to advance their ideas of how public funding works. The primary reason for the problems this forum discusses is that DEMAND for NHS services is more or less infinite. Providing for this demand HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOTIONAL IDEAS OF TAXES AND REVENUE. It has to do with providing 1. trained professionals 2. their time 3. the equipment and premises they need. The latter 3 items cannot be infinite.

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  • Burnham you opportunistic reptile. You will only push for the debate as long as you are convinced that the committee that makes the decision will not approve a debate. Why? Because if the public finally realises we can set up debates of no confidence in ministers, we will set up one for every tory minister that labour voters can pile in and sign and force, then do the same with Labour Governments getting all the tory voters to pile in and sign the petitions against labour ministers including you Mr Burnham.

    The committeee of MPs that decides what gets debated will never let this debate happen no matter which party they belong to because they can see it being turned on them next.

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  • Democracy laughed at.

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