Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

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 Bill.

"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 out-of-touch Government."

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech