Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Parliament shuns debate on Jeremy Hunt's removal as health secretary

Parliament has decided against debating a vote of no confidence in health secretary Jeremy Hunt, despite a petition attracting 220,000 signatures.

A debate will be held on Monday 14 September, but crucially it will not be held in the main chamber of the House of Commons, but in the significantly more low-key Westminster Hall venue, and the debate will focus on ‘the e-petition relating to contracts and conditions in the NHS’.

Despite this, GP campaigners said GPs need to be lobbying MPs ‘like mad’ to attend the debate.

The Parliament.uk petition was headlined ‘To debate a vote of no confidence in health secretary the Right Hon Jeremy Hunt’, adding that ‘Jeremy Hunt has alienated the entire workforce of the NHS by threatening to impose a harsh contract and conditions on first consultants and soon the rest of the NHS staff’.

The Commons Petitions Committee said it had reviewed the petition, as well as a similarly worded call on Change.org that received more than 100,000 signatures.

However, the debate is listed on the Parliament website as ‘Contracts and conditions in the NHS’, and will take part in Westminster Hall.

It follows the Government’s response, published on the petition page, that focused on the merits of a seven-day NHS and not on Mr Hunt.

Reacting to news of the debate being scheduled, Dr Dan Furmedge, the consultant behind the Change.org petition, said on Twitter: ‘[T]hey need to make sure they debate Hunt and not just “conditions on the NHS”.’

But Hull GP Dr Zoe Norris, media lead for GP pressure group GP Survival, told Pulse: ‘A Government-dominated petitions committee could never pass a motion for debate to undermine the sitting health secretary. But, the fact they have changed the wording to reflect general concerns about contracts and conditions, means Conservative MPs in particular can now join in the debate without fear of being chastised by the party whip.

‘Personally I think that is encouraging, and we should be using this opportunity to lobby MPs like mad to go there and look for ways to safeguard the future of general practice.’ 

She added that while GPs are ‘furious over the slurs that Hunt has made against the medical profession’ and particularly GPs, removing the face of the policies would only serve to ‘lower the blood pressure’ of some GPs while these same policies continue.

The petitions were first launched in the wake of a speech where the health secretary said he would impose weekend working in the consultant contract to end high payments to fill shifts.

It also followed closely Mr Hunt’s announcement of the ‘new deal’ for general practice, which would see GPs accept seven-day working in return for support for struggling practices but was later denounced by the BMA as threatening the existence of the profession.

Supporters of the petitions included Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham - a frontrunner in his party’s leadership contest due to conclude this Saturday - who had said he would personally request for the debate to take place.

Readers' comments (28)

  • Westminster Hall is where they tried Charles I isn't it? Here's hoping for a similar outcome.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • well they look after their own.

    which is more than I can say for some GPs... (COUGH ** IVAN BENNETT ** COUGH)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    Whatever the outcome is , this is first time in history a health secretary has been demanded by 22,000 people to f*c* off.
    Nigel, do you know how to apply this to be recorded in Guinees Book of Record?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Oddly enough the email I received only says that Parliament will debate the petition with a link that to the petition and live viewing on parliamentlive.tv

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It will go something like this:
    -we are here today to debate whether there should be a vote of no-confidence in the Health Secretary the Honourable Mr Hunt
    - anyone for the motion
    silence
    -anyone against the motion
    hararahahahah.
    220000 voices run over.
    Democracy in action

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I must have seen quite a few heath secretaries in the last 20 year come nad go, but never have I become so immediately and anaphylactically allergic to any of them as with Mr Hunt. He has the face of someone who knows he's taking the P but also knows he's going to get away with it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I want to be a politician --I can talk rubbish walk rubbish think rubbish say rubbish study anything if at all and be in charge of every discipline and people who actually did study what they are doing ..( exceptions to this allowed) and yet any mess up -- clearly it's not my fault and I will get a huge pay rise every year for less and less work or responsibility because I will


    Everyone else take nothing maybe a shilling if that , if you don't like it clearly you don't care about society greedy selfish do and so


    Now if you say snything against me it us slanderous if you right anything it is libellous if you think that is a grave crime unforgivable and you need to be rectified in the gallows and dungeons or perhaps just sack you suspend you ..naturally all pay will be re imbursed provided you pass what we say --- oh wait you are de skilled ...oh wait there is no smoke without fire blah bla


    We should all be politicians

    The above is just an overheard statement any resemblance to anything fictional or non fictional is purely coincidental

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • If 220000 people signed for a gp to step down what would happen?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    Clever agent
    Does anybody know how much he earn last year?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say

IMPORTANT: On Wednesday 7 December 2016, we implemented a new log in system, and if you have not updated your details you may experience difficulties logging in. Update your details here. Only GMC-registered doctors are able to comment on this site.