Ask your MP to pray against Jeremy Hunt's NHS regulations

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Jeremy Hunt: Bringing in NHS privatisation by the back door

No, we’re not seeking divine help (just yet) over Jeremy Hunt’s new NHS competition regulations, but 'praying against' them could be a good way of getting them exposed in Parliament.

As things stand, the new regulations count as secondary legislation, which means they need no further debate in Parliament. They’ll come into law on 1 April, and competition for NHS contracts will suddenly become the default in most cases.

This is despite many promises to the contrary given by the government when the Bill was debated last year. Jeremy Hunt is using Parliamentary procedure to sneak privatisation in by the back door.

However, MPs from three parties, including Labour Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, the Greens’ Caroline Lucas and Lib Dem NHS rebel Andrew George (see a list of current signatories) have backed a motion to “pray against” the regulation.

This special form of Early Day Motion is a rarely used piece of Parliamentary jargon, which basically means they’re opening a kind of petition for other MPs to sign, calling for the secondary legislation to be struck out.

If enough MPs can be persuaded to join them in praying against the regulations, the motion’s special status makes it more likely that Parliamentary time will be secured to debate it.

There are signs today that Jeremy Hunt is coming under pressure over this. But we need to keep the pressure up, if we're going to secure any real changes here.

This motion could be a good chance to get the scrutiny that the government are trying hard to avoid.

Please ask your MP to help pray against back door NHS privatisation now.

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