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‘Drop the bill’ GP petition to be sent to House of Commons

A prominent GP's petition urging Prime Minister David Cameron to scrap the health bill has passed the threshold for being considered for parliamentary debate.

Signatures to Dr Kailash Chand's e-petition – that calls on the Government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill - are now approaching 120,000 after a surge in support yesterday.

The petition has been given high-profile backing from England and Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand and TV presenter Stephen Fry.

The Government's e-petition website allows campaigners who gather more than 100,000 petition signatures to have their ideas discussed in the House of Commons - however there is no guarantee owing to limited time slots.

When the petition reaches 100,000 signatures it is sent to the House of Commons where the office of the Leader of the House checks it against the terms and conditions for e-petitions and parliamentary rules. Successful petitions then go to the Backbench Business Committee for consideration.

Previous e-petitions debated in parliament include one demanding full disclosure of the documents regarding the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans died. The debate prompted Home secretary Theresa May to hand over as many as 300,000 documents on the disaster to an independent panel.

Dr Chand, a GP and chair of NHS Tameside and Glossop told Pulse he was ‘surprised, emotional and very confident'.

He said: ‘The Labour party and, we're told, three cabinet ministers have their doubts so they'll have to give the debate time.'

‘Medical bodies have opposed it and now the public oppose it. If David Cameron has any sense and political nous he will see which way the wind is blowing - unless he wants to be like his predecessor Tony Blair who went against public opinion to go to war in Iraq.'