by Ian Shires on 21 February, 2012
Today, on his way to the health summit the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was greeted with shouts of “shame”.
The BBC reported:
As he arrived, Mr Lansley was shouted at by several protesters waiting by the gates of Downing Street.
One woman, June Hautot, a former Unison rep, barred his way, telling the health secretary: “I’m not getting out of the way.”
Mr Lansley told her that the NHS was not being privatised and said waiting lists were down.
She also appeared to prod Mr Lansley, who was forced to walk around her to get to a gate to enter Downing Street.
Afterwards, Mr Lansley described the confrontation as “sticks and stones” and insisted he was determined to stick with the planned reforms.
Speaking after the incident, Ms Hautot told the BBC: “The NHS is supposed to be from cradle to grave. It doesn’t matter who’s in power; we’re here to save the NHS.”
Meanwhile the website PoliticsHome reported today, that Mr Lansley, is now facing considerable pressure within the Coaltion.
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Mr Lansley was also confronted with fresh signs of dissent over the controversial reforms from within the Coalition as a Liberal Democrat ministerial aide broke ranks to call for ministers to reveal the true risks of the new legislation.
Duncan Hames, who is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, signed an early day motion calling for the publication of a “risk register”, which outlines the costs and risks of the Health and Social Care Bill. He signed the motion along with 12 other Liberal Democrat MPs.
Mr Hames told PoliticsHome: “At the time that I first asked the Government about the risk register – nearly three months ago, at Health Questions – the Health Minister stated that they were still considering how to move forward in the timescale the Information Commissioner had given them. I encouraged him to publish the risk register in the knowledge that such documents would normally contain carefully-thought through mitigation strategies that rather than alarm, may actually serve to reassure the public.”
The Government has so far refused to reveal the risks in spite of a ruling by the Information Commissioner, but the motion says: “This House expects the Government to respect the ruling by the Information Commissioner and to publish the risk register associated with the Health and Social Care Bill reforms in advance of Report Stage in the House of Lords in order to ensure that it informs that debate.”
In total, 75 MPs have signed the motion, which was tabled by Liberal Democrat Andrew George.