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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.’