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Jeremy Hunt 'No Confidence' Motion Could Be Debated By MPs After Petition Passes 300,000 Signatures

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JEREMY HUNT
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers a statement to the House of Commons, London, outlining how talks with the British Medical Association (BMA) have ended in a stalemate. | PA/PA Wire
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Jeremy Hunt could face one of his most embarrassing days in office if a group of MPs, including six Conservatives, allow a debate in the Commons chamber on the public's confidence in their health secretary.

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A petition that has garnered 300,000 signatures is calling for his removal, and will go before a committee of MPs to discuss its suitability for a debate in Parliament later this month.

The plea to oust Hunt from his health brief was started by Graham Hillman, and is receiving huge support with up to 6,000 backers an hour. It was started on Thursday - the day junior doctors were told new pay and conditions terms would be foisted on them.

jeremy hunt

Thousands of NHS staff are protesting against Hunt's reforms

"Mr Hunt recently gave totally inappropriate advice to Google conditions before seeking medical opinion," the petition reads.

"He referred to Paramedics as Ambulance Drivers and has caused the first Doctors strike in years of the NHS.

Hillman concludes: "Mr Hunt is destroying all staff morale in the NHS & will cause recruitment issues."

Members of the petitions committee that adjudicates on which pleas that get over 100,000 signatures should be allowed to be debated in Parliament will meet on February 23rd, to make a decision. The committee includes five MPs from the Conservative Party.

The health secretary has previously faced pressure from petition signers, after 220,000 people called for a similar vote of no confidence back in September.

In response, MPs dedicated an afternoon in the Westminster Hall venue to focus on "the e-petition relating to contracts and conditions in the NHS".

The government has not yet issued a response, as it is obliged to do with all petitions that receive over 10,000 signatures.

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However, Hunt has defended his controversial decision to impose new contracts overhauling pay and conditions terms by saying that given time they would be accepted as a good thing.

In a statement to the Commons on Thursday he said no health secretary could ignore the fact that standards in NHS hospitals are "too low" at weekends and more patients die than during the week, a point contested by many.

Hunt has said the move will guarantee a "truly seven-day NHS", one of the Conservative party's hallmark policies when it was elected with a majority at last year's general election.

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