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Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, responding to the ruling by the Information Commissioner on the NHS risk register, said:

"This is a crushing defeat for the Government as it mounts a desperate bid to ram this Bill through Parliament in the next ten days.

"The Prime Minister must accept today's ruling with good grace and order the immediate release of the risk register. Parliament and the public have a right to know what risks the Government is running with the NHS by reorganising it at this time of unprecedented financial pressure.

"The Government has a technical right of appeal but morally it has nowhere to go. It would be an outrageous insult to Parliament if they sought to fight this decision and pass the Bill without publishing the transition risk register. Parliament must stand up to the Government and uphold the public interest by seeing this ruling implemented to inform the final days of debate on the Health Bill.

"This ruling unravels the Government's attack on Labour and highlights the difference between the strategic and transition risk registers. In upholding the ruling on the transition risk register, they have today put beyond doubt the difference between the two documents. This is an endorsement of Labour's argument in this debate and of my actions as Health Secretary.

"I wish to pay particular tribute to my predecessor as Shadow Health Secretary John Healey who has assiduously pursued this campaign over many months. John has done the NHS a great service in leading this fight with such determination.

"As the Liberal Democrats members gather to debate the future of the Health Bill, they must send out the clearest possible message to their MPs and Peers that this ruling must be respected. We note a Liberal Democrat Early Day Motion calling on the Government to publish in the event of this ruling and today we call on them to stick to those words. Liberal Democrats pride themselves on a commitment to freedom of information and they must now put those words into action."

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