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13. Andy Burnham

Shadow health secretary

Having disarmed critics with the novel approach of admitting to mistakes he made in office, Mr Burnham has pledged to repeal the Health and Social Care Act.

Recently, he has also attacked the role of the new chief inspector for primary care Professor Steve Field and the new CQC inspection regime for practices, saying that the idea was not recommended by the report into the failures of care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust.

Further political controversy is expected when the health and care policy commission set up by Labour and chaired by Sir John Oldham reports to the shadow cabinet. This could recommend that GPs have their ‘gatekeeper’ role removed and give patients direct access to specialists.

And with a general election fast approaching in May 2015, expect Mr Burnham to up the ante still further as Labour seeks to torpedo the coalition’s record on primary care.

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