Before the last debate on the Care Bill took place, Heidi Alexander MP (Lewisham East), Jim Dowd MP (Lewisham West and Penge) and I wrote a letter to all MPs outlining our opposition and experiences of the Trust Special Administrator regime in Lewisham. During the debate on 16th December I raised my deep-seated concerns with both Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of State for Health, and Andy Burnham MP, his opposite number on the Labour benches.
Yesterday we were all in the chamber once more to express our opposition to the clause. You can read our contributions in full here.
I would like to reassure my constituents that the Labour Party remained firmly opposed to this clause and voted against it last night, but we were defeated by 297 votes to 239. Paul Burstow, the Liberal Democrat MP who tabled amendment NC16, withdrew his amendment as he felt the government had proposed changes which addressed his concerns, but Labour’s Jamie Reed pressed it to a vote: 241 MPs voted in favour of NC16 and 288 against.
Although the government has pledged to consult local people and clinical commissioners, we continue to be concerned that these concessions do not go far enough. I am sorry not to be able to report a more positive result.