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PM and Miliband clash in Commons over Everington call for health bill withdrawal

Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband clashed in the House of Commons today over Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group's call for the health bill to be scrapped.

The letter from the CCG's chair Dr Sam Everington to Mr Cameron, exclusively revealed by Pulse yesterday, was seized upon by Mr Miliband during Prime Minister's Questions.

Dr Everington, a commissioning enthusiast who hosted Andrew Lansley's first public speech as health secretary, said improvements could be made to the NHS ‘without the bureaucracy generated by the bill'.

He said in the letter: ‘Your government has interpreted our commitment to our patients as support for the bill. It is not.'

The Labour leader quoted this section and asked the Prime Minister if he recognised that he had lost the confidence of the very people supposed to be implementing the bill.

But Mr Cameron said there were 8250 GP practices covering 95% of the country implementing the health reforms and accused Mr Miliband of being ‘opportunistic'.

Mr Miliband claimed the reason 95% of GPs were implementing part of the proposals is because they had been ‘imposed' on them. He then asked the Prime Minister for a list of any high profile groups that still supported the health bill.

Mr Cameron listed the NAPC, NHS Alliance and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, along with former Labour Minister Lord Darzi.

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