NHS plan defeat for Labour party leadership

The Labour Party leadership has suffered an embarrassing defeat over proposals to increase private company involvement in health care.

Unison leader David Prentis accused the Labour Party of "government by diktat" and asked if the party's vision was really a health service "driven not by patient need, but by profits and markets."

Urging the government not to repeat "Tory mistakes" and consulting on such changes, Mr Prentis had said there was no mention of these major changes in the provision of Primary Care Trusts the Labour Party manifesto.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said that the NHS had always used the private sector, and that using such services was the only way to reduce waiting times.

The motion, which called for no more private sector care in the NHS, was narrowly rejected by the constituency Labour Party delegates, but the union delegate vote was 99.9% opposed to the motion and it was carried by 71%.

Ms Hewitt said the government was not proposing privatisation.

Mr Blair, in his speech to conference earlier this week, conceded that efforts to improve public services with private sector involvement had proved unpopular with some Labour members and the unions.

The Labour Party leadership was also defeated over its refusal to re-instate the link between earnings and state pensions. While delegates backed the union motion to re-instate the link, abolished under the Thatcher government, it is not thought likely that the vote will result in a change in Labour Party policy.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 June 2003
Unison chief threatens strike action over public service reform
The new general secretary of health union Unison has threatened strike action if the government fails to properly fund its public service reforms.
06 February 2004
RMT vote puts it on collision course with New Labour
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) is on collision course with the Labour Party after reaffirming an earlier decision to support other political parties.
23 May 2008
Labour Suffers As Tories Win By-Election
The Labour Party has suffered a blistering defeat in the latest by-election win by The Conservatives. The Tories have seized a former safe Labour seat by almost 8,000 votes in Crewe and Nantwich. Tory MP Edward Timpson won 7,860 more votes than his Labour rival documenting a 17.6% swing.
09 April 2009
Conservatives Claim Britain Overpaid Irish Health Service
Members of the British Conservative Party has claimed £200 million in NHS funds has been wrongly directed to the Irish health service. The money is paid annually by the British Government as part of a long-standing arrangement to fund treatment for around 50,000 Irish pensioners who paid national insurance in the UK.
14 September 2015
Jeremy Corby Elected New Labour Party Leader
Jeremy Corbyn has been elected the new leader of the Labour Party with a majority of almost 60%. Mr Crobyn beat Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, taking 251,417 votes in the first round of voting. In his first act as party leader, Mr Corbyn has been selecting his shadow cabinet, with Tom Watson as Deputy Leader.