Update: For whatever reason, the government postponed the debate. So the rally didn’t take place.
When the debate took place on Weds 23rd October, the Labour Party motion was defeated by 282 to 310 votes. More info on votes here, and a link to the debate: Queen’s Speech — Programme for Government — National Health Service
On Monday 21st October when the Queen’s Speech is being debated, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathon Ashworth will speak to demand a publicly administered NHS and an end to privatisation of the service.
Outside Parliament, at 2pm in Old Palace Yard Westminster, London SW1A 2BE there will be a “Johnson, Trump: Hands Off Our NHS – Keep profit out of health care” rally.
MPs Caroline Lucas and Philippa Whitford will be in support. Everyone else who can, please join them!
Please ask your MP to vote for the Labour amendment
This is why MPs must block the government’s NHS Integrated Care Bill.
Here’s where you can find your MP’s contact details.
The Labour Shadow Team is putting a significant amendment to the Queen’s Speech in the debate on the Health section on Monday afternoon – it is second on the order for the session starting at 2.30pm.
An amendment does not of course allow for a detailed bill to be put, but it leads on to the next critically urgent task of having the renationalising, reinstating legislation prepared.
New legislation, along the lines of an updated NHS Reinstatement Bill, will have to deal with more than the 2012 Health & Social Care Act.
As the government doesn’t have a majority, there is a chance that the House of Commons could pass the amendment.
Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s speech would protect the NHS from privatisation
The following Labour Party amendment to the Queen’s speech has been tabled by the Shadow Health Secretary Jonathon Ashworth. It is moved by Jeremy Corbyn, Barry Gardiner, Emily Thornberry, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Nicholas Brown.
The amendment is:
[Government wording followed by] ‘… but respectfully regrets that the Gracious Speech does not repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to restore a publicly provided and administered National Health Service and protect it from future trade agreements that would allow private companies competing for services who put profit before public health and that could restrict policy decisions taken in the public interest.’
This amendment is a clear commitment to protecting the NHS from further privatisation and exposure to future trade deals after Brexit.
It also calls for the repeal of the widely condemned Health and Social Care Act and the restoration of a publicly run and provided NHS. This has major implications for the future of the health service and will draw a clear dividing line between those MPs who support NHS privatisation, and those who don’t.
Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Retired paediatrician and Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public said
“The proposals on Health in the Queen’s speech are nothing more than electioneering. Promises of more funding by 2023/24 totally fail to compensate for funding shortfall of the last 10 years of over £30bn per year. According to the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI), under this government current spending on NHS services contracted to the private sector has risen to 18% of the annual budget, up 23% over the last 5 years. Their proposals mean the privatisation trend is likely to further increase.”
Ellen Lees, from campaign group We Own It says:
“This amendment is absolutely vital. Boris Johnson is failing to protect our NHS from trade deals including with Donald Trump. Privatisation is already running rampant in our NHS. Our health service is therefore up for grabs in a trade deal, no matter what Trump and Johnson say is ‘on the table’. MPs now have a chance to pick a side. They can stand with the 84% of the public who support a publicly owned NHS. Or they can open up our NHS to Donald Trump’s private healthcare lobby.”
Steve Carne, Co-chair of 999 Call for the NHS, said:
“It is good to see the Shadow Health Secretary taking a positive step in challenging the hollow words of a Queen’s Speech created by a Prime Minister who has no care, no understanding of what the NHS means to ordinary people. Given the government position there is a real possibility that MPs could show their opposition to (the NHS Integrated Care Bill) Austerity politics and support for a return to an NHS free from US-style accountable care and private companies siphoning off public funds at the expense of patients’ lives.”