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Saturday 10th March 2012 | 16:24
Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said in response to the
vote on the emergency debate at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference:
"This vote is desperately disappointing but the fight against this Bill
will go on.
"It is worrying that Nick Clegg appears not to appreciate that the 'Drop
the Bill' call is supported by a broad coalition of professionals,
patients and people from all political parties. His narrow political
appeal to his party will have disappointed NHS staff. It reveals beyond
doubt that he is putting party politics before what is best for the NHS.
"It is shocking to see the Lib Dem leadership telling their activists the
Bill clamps down on private providers and private patient income. The
reality is the opposite; this Bill leads to an explosion of profit-making
in our NHS and it is utterly dishonest to pretend otherwise.
"Shirley Williams used to support my policy as Health Secretary of NHS
Preferred Provider. In fighting for a Bill based on the policy of Any
Qualified Provider, she is now taking a very different approach.
"Time is running out for the NHS but we can still stop this Bill.
Following the Tribunal ruling on the NHS Risk Register, we will support
Lord Owen's call on the Lords to delay Third Reading until it has been
published. On Tuesday, we will give a voice to the 170,000 people who have
signed the e-petition and a last chance to the Commons to vote down this
"We will fight on with everything we have got to the very last. Our last
hope is to make Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg listen by giving full voice to the
opposition in the country to their plans. That's why we call on everyone
to sign the e-petition and send the clearest of messages to this