Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, following the vote in the House of Lords on the Health Bill, said:
“When news of today’s vote came through, hearts will have sunk around the NHS.
“GPs, nurses, midwives and health visitors all know that, if this Bill becomes law, our cherished NHS will never be the same again.
“Sadly, the House of Lords has failed to listen to that overwhelming feeling of opposition and has voted to bring the break-up of the NHS a step closer.
“Today’s vote is disappointing but the fight for the future of NHS goes on.
“We give the out of touch Government notice that Labour will be working round the clock for changes to this Bill.
“My offer to the Health Secretary still stands despite his petulant response today. If the Health Secretary listens to the NHS and drops this dangerous Bill, we will work constructively with him to reform NHS commissioning and bring stability to the system.
“But it seems the Government has chosen a different course – to put politics before the NHS. By digging in and ploughing on with this Bill, the Government will further demoralise and destabilise the NHS and damage patient care.”