Duncan Hames “breaks ranks” to call for publication of risks of health bill

PoliticsHome reports:

An elderly protester clashed angrily with Andrew Lansley today as he attended a Number 10 summit on his NHS reforms.

Mr Lansley was also confronted with fresh signs of dissent over the controversial reforms from within the Coalition as a Liberal Democrat ministerial aide broke ranks to call for ministers to reveal the true risks of the new legislation.

Duncan Hames, who is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, signed an early day motion calling for the publication of a “risk register”, which outlines the costs and risks of the Health and Social Care Bill. He signed the motion along with 12 other Liberal Democrat MPs.

Mr Hames told PoliticsHome: “At the time that I first asked the Government about the risk register – nearly three months ago, at Health Questions – the Health Minister stated that they were still considering how to move forward in the timescale the Information Commissioner had given them. I encouraged him to publish the risk register in the knowledge that such documents would normally contain carefully-thought through mitigation strategies that rather than alarm, may actually serve to reassure the public.”

The Government has so far refused to reveal the risks in spite of a ruling by the Information Commissioner, but the motion says: “This House expects the Government to respect the ruling by the Information Commissioner and to publish the risk register associated with the Health and Social Care Bill reforms in advance of Report Stage in the House of Lords in order to ensure that it informs that debate.”

In total, 75 MPs have signed the motion, which was tabled by Liberal Democrat Andrew George.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

9 Comments

  • Jayne Mansfield 20th Feb '12 - 3:12pm

    Well done Duncan Hames.

  • David Blake 20th Feb '12 - 3:12pm

    We need to reject this Bill and be seen to reject it.

  • Good for Duncan Hames. I hope he’s setting a trend.

  • Daniel Henry 20th Feb '12 - 3:38pm

    Well done to the other 11 MPs who signed too!

    Any government, regardless of its ideology should be honest and open with information like the risk register, especially when instructed to by the Information Commissioner.

    Lansley is embarrassing our entire government with his antics!

  • “especially when instructed to by the Information Commissioner”

    To be fair, if I understand correctly, the government has appealed to the Information Tribunal against the Information Commissioner’s decision, and that appeal is in progress. Ultimately the FOI Act does provide for a ministerial veto in exceptional circumstances. This provision has been used only three times, twice by Labour in 2009 and once by the present Attorney General only about a fortnight ago.

  • David from Ealing 20th Feb '12 - 9:18pm

    “a ministerial veto in exceptional circumstances” —– should be only when national security is involved,

  • ““a ministerial veto in exceptional circumstances” —– should be only when national security is involved,”

    Well, of course information that would jeopardise national security is exempt from disclosure under the FOI Act anyway, as is information in dozens of other categories. So a strong argument can be made that there shouldn’t be a ministerial right of veto.

    But there it is. It’s in the legislation.

  • Dave Eastham 21st Feb '12 - 7:08am

    From the partial risk registers that have been published already e.g. London, it would seem that there are possibly serious concerns regarding this Bill’s risks. Lansley’s refusal to publish the Risk Register and his almost petulant defying of the Information Commissioner, is hardly open Government. If the authoritarian wing of the Labour party only used the provisions of the act twice in 13 years and the Coalition, if Lansley’s decision stands, use it twice within two years, it is hardly open government. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Lansley has indeed something hide in this and is trying to conceal information until after the Bill becomes law. I cannot see how the risk register’s are an issue of national security. Publish and be damned. Or not, as the case may be.

  • Well done Duncan Hames and Simon George and Vince Cable and Simon Hughes and David Laws for challenging the the Tory side of the Goverment. That’s what I voted for!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 9th Feb - 10:15pm
    Hi Caron, as you know I was in Dunfermline for the by election and had a great time helping an outstanding candidate who I had...
  • User AvatarTim13 9th Feb - 8:34pm
    I wasn't there for Polling Day, but had come up with my wife for a week a few days previously. There were a number of...
  • User AvatarStuart 9th Feb - 8:24pm
    For an organisation based on an "unsupportable" funding model, the BBC is performing remarkably well. It has a third of all TV audiences - by...
  • User AvatarKeith Legg 9th Feb - 8:04pm
    I saw Willie's message - I can't believe it's 10 years! Firstly, I just want to say how much Dave Herbert is missed. A really...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 9th Feb - 7:50pm
    So, Mr Probert, you are happy to waste taxpayers' money to prove this particular point, are you? Now, if enough people spoiled their ballots, that...
  • User AvatarLeekliberal 9th Feb - 7:31pm
    John Marriot says 'Worrying about strike ballots is not something that excites me.' But surely we should be seeking a fair balance between employer and...