Over 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in health secretary Jeremy Hunt in just 24 hours.
The petition launched via Parliament.uk, started yesterday and quickly surpassed the 10,000 signature target at which the Government must issue a response. This afternoon it has reached the 100,000 required to be considered for debate in Parliament, having attracted more than one signature per second.
Launched by north London-based consultant in internal medicine Dr Ash Sadighi, it accuses Mr Hunt of ‘alienating 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’.
A separate petition launched via Change.org on Sunday calling on Mr Hunt to resign, or Prime Minister David Cameron to remove him from his post, has received over 90,000 signatures.
Both petitions were launched by consultants angered by Mr Hunt’s speech at the King’s Fund last week, in which he threatened to impose his terms for the new junior doctor contract and accused the BMA for being out of touch with its members, claiming he had ‘yet to meet’ a doctor not in favour of weekend working.
They follow the success of the #ImInWorkJeremy Twitter campaign to trend over the weekend, uniting GPs and hospital doctors in letting Mr Hunt know they were already keeping a seven-day NHS running.
Meanwhile, geriatric consultant Dr Dan Furmedge, who launched the Change.org petition, also said Mr Hunt’s speech had been ‘the last straw’.
His petition read: ‘In essentially calling doctors lazy and suggesting they need “a sense of vocation” he has offended the whole NHS workforce and demonstrated how little regard he has for us and how little he understands what we do.’