Burnham urges Liberal Democrats to reject health White Paper

By Tom Ireland, 01 September 2010

Shadow Labour health secretary Andy Burnham has urged Lib Dem MPs to block health secretary Andrew Lansley's White Paper reforms.

Mr Burnham White Paper reforms 'unnecessary and dangerous'

Mr Burnham White Paper reforms 'unnecessary and dangerous'

Mr Burnham was expected to tell a party meeting in Liverpool on Tuesday that Liberal Democrat MPs hold ‘the key to the future of our NHS’.

The coalition government relies on its 57 Lib Dem MPs for a working majority in parliament.

Mr Burnham will call for deputy prime minister Nick Clegg – due to address the Lib-Dem conference in the city next month – to 'explain why the reforms are being forced on the NHS’.

The former health secretary has launched a 'Save Our NHS Campaign' in opposition to the plans, which he says are 'unnecessary and dangerous' and will cause waiting times to rise.

In a letter to Lib Dem MPs ahead of his speech, he wrote: ‘I do not believe the people who voted for you at the election voted for such a radical break-up plan.' 

Mr Lansley also faces a legal challenge from the union Unison, which claims reforms set out in the White Paper Liberating the NHS are being implemented before the public has been consulted.

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