Andrew Lansley Confronted By Angry Protesters Outside Downing Street (VIDEO)
Andrew Lansley was confronted with a small but very vocal demonstration outside Downing Street on Monday morning, as he attempted to make his way into No.10 for a summit on his unpopular health reforms.
In what was something of a public relations disaster, the health secretary's path was blocked by one elderly protester who told him: "I've had enough of you."
And his insistence that his NHS Bill would not mean the privatisation of the health service was greeted skeptically by an angry June Hautot who shot back: "codswallop".
"'I’m not going to let you go," she shouted as he attempted to slip past her. "The waiting lists are going to go up, so you can wait for a change," she added, moving to block his path.
Lansley insisted that "the NHS is not for sale" but his attempt to defuse the situation proved unsuccessful. "Don't you dare lie to me," Hautnot responded.
Having eventually evaded Hautnot, who reportedly used to work for an NHS workers union, Lansley was followed into No.10 with shouts of "shame on you" and "watch your back".
Speaking to Sky News following the confrontation, Hautot said Lansley wasa "gutless coward" who had "no conscience".
Hautnot has a history of protest, having dressed as a skeleton as part of a demonstration outside parliament in 2006 to demand the restoration of the link between pensions and earnings.
The Morning Star reported at the time that the then 70-year-old pulled off her skull mask to say: "My measly weekly pension is less than some of those so-and-sos in Parliament spend on a single meal."
"Money is no problem when it comes to wars. But, when it comes to pensions and the NHS, they tell us there's not enough money."
David Cameron and Lansley are holding a roundtable discussion with chairs of the emerging GP-led clinical commissioning groups and leaders of the Royal Colleges.
However some of the biggest critics of the Health and Social Care Bill have been left out in the cold.
Amid intense pressure from many professional bodies to drop the Bill, Cameron will say patients are already beginning to see the fruits of greater GP influence - a key plank of the reforms - in areas where clinical commissioning groups have already been set up.
He will point to evidence that emergency hospital admissions have fallen year-on-year for the first time as GPs have begun to be more central to shaping care for patients and the NHS has moved away from Labour's "targets" culture to the coalition's emphasis on "outcomes".
Department of Health figures show a 0.5% decline in emergency hospital admissions in 2011, compared with a 36% increase between 2001 and 2010.
Lansley said: "We have always been clear that patients will benefit from putting power in the hands of frontline doctors and nurses.
"By starting to do just that, we are seeing a positive change in the way our NHS is responding to rising pressures.
"Patients are being treated in more convenient places, pressure on hospitals is reducing, and we are safeguarding the NHS for future generations."
Monday's gathering has attracted controversy after a number of bodies critical of the NHS reforms said they had not been invited.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said it would be "odd" if organisations representing health professionals were not invited to the summit.
"The BMA does not appear to have been invited to an NHS summit at Downing Street," a spokesman said.
"If there is such an event, it would seem odd if the major bodies representing health professionals were not included."
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), another opponent of the Bill, said it had not been invited either, adding it was "extremely concerning".
Ed Miliband has accused Cameron of having a "bunker mentality" and said he should drop the bill.
Today the Prime Minister is holding a Downing Street summit which excludes those from the medical profession who disagree with his Bill," he said.
"It’s not too late to start listening to the doctors, the nurses and the midwives. It’s not too late to listen to patients.
"His bill will cause lasting damage to the NHS, it will divert billions from patient care and undermine our health service’s basic principles. "
Lanlsey is not the first, and will not be the last, politician to have had awkward run-ins with a member of the public: