Andrew Lansley heckled by June Hautot in NHS protest


Mr Lansley was heckled by a protester who refused to let him pass

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David Cameron has said there "are a few myths we need to bust" and pledged to push ahead with his NHS changes after his health secretary was heckled and jostled outside Downing Street.

Andrew Lansley was greeted with shouts of "shame" as he headed for a meeting inside No 10 about the NHS.

After the meeting, the prime minister said reform was "never easy".

Groups including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing say they have been excluded.

Proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill include giving GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opening up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector. These have proved controversial.

On Friday, members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health joined several Royal Medical Colleges, including the Royal College of GPs, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

'Not sensible'

Unions and professional bodies, including the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives, are also among those who want it to be withdrawn.

The government said the Downing Street meeting was designed for those "constructively engaged in implementing the modernisation".

The NHS protester

Andrew Lansley and June Hautot

Andrew Lansley was confronted about the NHS by June Hautot. Ms Hautot is 75 and a retired NHS union rep. She is from Tooting in south London Here are excerpts of their exchange:

Hautot: "The waiting lists are going to go up, so you can wait"

Lansley: "I promise you waiting times in the NHS are coming down, it will not go private"

Hautot: "I've had enough of you and Cameron. Are you going to go home?"

Lansley: "The NHS is not for sale, there will be no privatisation."

Hautot: "Codswallop, you've been privatising since 1979. Don't you dare lie to me"

Lansley: "1979?"

As he arrived, Mr Lansley was shouted at by several protesters waiting by the gates of Downing Street.

One woman, June Hautot, a former Unison rep, barred his way, telling the health secretary: "I'm not getting out of the way."

Mr Lansley told her that the NHS was not being privatised and said waiting lists were down.

She also appeared to prod Mr Lansley, who was forced to walk around her to get to a gate to enter Downing Street.

Afterwards, Mr Lansley described the confrontation as "sticks and stones" and insisted he was determined to stick with the planned reforms.

Speaking after the incident, Ms Hautot told the BBC: "The NHS is supposed to be from cradle to grave. It doesn't matter who's in power; we're here to save the NHS."

Another protester, London GP Louise Perkins, said: "Cameron is misrepresenting us by saying he has GP support. He doesn't. You could get the number of supporters into a telephone booth."

Asked about the protest after the meeting, the PM said: "Reform is never easy, but it is vital to reform our NHS because I want it to be there looking after every family in the country and doing a good job into the future.

"We had a constructive and helpful meeting and what's clear is that there are quite a few myths that we need to bust about this reform.

"Choice for patients is a good thing: making sure that GPs, not bureaucrats, are making decisions, that's a good thing.

"So there are myths we need to bust, but I also heard how, on the ground, where some of the reforms are already taking place, you are actually seeing better health outcomes, GPs doing more things for their patients, people living healthier lives as a result of these changes."

During a visit to a hospital in Romford, north London, later in the day, Mr Lansley said his door was "always open" to groups like the BMA and the RCN who were not invited to the earlier meeting.



  • NHS Confederation
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Royal College of Physicians of London
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • NHS Alliance
  • Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
  • National Voices
  • National Association of Primary Care


  • British Medical Association
  • Royal College of GPs
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • College of Occupational Therapists
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Faculty of Public Health
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • Royal College of Pathologists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Unison
  • Unite

Earlier Peter Carter, from the RCN, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We really don't think it's a sensible way forward to think that you can have a meeting which has been called an emergency summit to take things forward without involving many of the key organisations that are intrinsic to making sure the NHS is successful."

In a statement on the meeting, the British Medical Association said: "It would seem odd if the major bodies representing health professionals were not included."

And Sarah Gorton, the senior national officer for health at the public sector union Unison, said: "Health workers should have their voices heard when major changes to the health service are being discussed."

A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister had no plans to meet health groups opposed to the NHS changes, but added that he was "listening to health professionals about how we can implement the reforms we have set out".

He said the government had held "countless meetings with health professionals and would continue to do so".

At the meeting the prime minister was expected to point to evidence that emergency hospital admissions had fallen year-on-year for the first time.

Andrew Lansley: "Privatisation is no part of our plans for the NHS"

Department of Health figures show a 0.5% decline in 2011, compared with a 36% increase between 2001 and 2010.

The BBC News Channel's chief political correspondent, Norman Smith, said the government felt the time for "tweaking, amending and altering" the health bill was over and that there was no point continuing to "talk to those health groups they felt were pretty much decided against the changes".

Labour opposes the bill and party leader Ed Miliband said: "This bunker mentality is the wrong way to run the NHS...

"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."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1066.

    Another foreigner who should be paying for private hc in UK - NHS must stop subsidising foreigners - we cannot afford this!"

    If he's paid tax and NI these past 10 years why should he not get NHS care? He's paid more than many UK citizens who've never paid a penny in tax and NI but get evrything provided.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1065.

    He's shutting out Unions not folk who care about the NHS? The RCN & BMA would not agree to a Tory plan whether it was in the public interest or not? They're idoelogically motivated and fund the Labour Party! Who gives a monkeys what they think, they're not impartial and do not have the good of the NHS at heart just what's in it for them and their paid up members, just like the pensions dispute!

  • Comment number 1064.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1063.

    Unions seeking to destroy what little Labour failed to destroy...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1062.

    The NHS has got to be reformed, even Labour accept that. The Government is responsible for making the necessary changes and must follow through with the reforms. No matter what they suggest the vested interest groups object and, as far as I am concerned, they must be largely ignored unless they take a positive and proactive stance, other than objecting for the sake of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1061.

    Cameron and the coalition takes yet another step in trying to undermine the democratic foundations of this country, and another step closer to being removed from office.

  • Comment number 1060.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1059.

    Perhaps politicians are looking at this the wrong way. Clearly a lot of people want the NHS? Then in order to fund such a system surely we would be willing to pay for it? i know i wouldn't mind paying a few percent extra if it meant the NHS remained in the hands of the people. Don't you think that this question should be asked before doing a frontal lobotomy NHS?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1058.

    The government said the Downing Street meeting was designed for those "constructively engaged in implementing the modernisation".

    Always good to surround yourself with a room full of nodding dogs:) The NHS is not free but at least when you are ill you do not have to worry about whether or not the hospital or doctor will treat you,unlike in the US.The NHS idea is precious and should be fought for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1057.

    As the spider said "free housing in my web is a good thing"

  • rate this

    Comment number 1056.

    Whilst most people understand and accept that the NHS needs some type of reform, omitting the opinions of the best people who can offer constructive advice (BMA, Nurses etc) smacks of stupidity of the highest order! Sycophants appear to be the order of the day, and we may live to regret their inputs..... or die! Cut Foreign Aid and you may have a large part of the solution to funding issues!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1055.


    If it is proven that she is a member of the WRP, then Lansley certainly needs to ignor her. But we can excuse him for that because in the heat of the moment it probably wasn't obviouse to him that she was a communist.

    Whatever your views on the NHS reforms are, I think we can all agree that revolutionary communism has no place in Britain today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1054.

    i hate how this goverment is just not listening to the people!!! we don't went big private companies in are NHS. the goverment will end up going a head and once the private companies got feet in the door bye bye NHS hello the USA heatlh system with health insurance!!!!! the private health companies will lose a bit of money killer off the NHS but knowing they will make millions in profit later!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1053.

    If that woman is in anyway representative of the opposition to the Government's proposals it's easy to understand why it would be excluded. Rather than scream hysterically, perhaps she and others might consider what changes they would make in order to prevent the NHS collapsing completely. Thanks to the gross mismanagement of Labour, we must get better value for less money or we will have nothing

  • rate this

    Comment number 1052.

    1042.The Deafening Roar of the Truth

    You still haven't explained how spending twice as much money to live a shorter lifespan is a good deal.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1051.

    1017 Adam
    Have you not read the reports? its actually all over the news! One thing that there is NO argument (even amongst the rabid right wing) about is that there are LOTS AND LOTS of people (tax payers) who are against these "reforms" (we should stop using the term as it sounds like improvement!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 1050.

    And James, democracy aside, this bunch of second hand car dealers LIED.,

  • rate this

    Comment number 1049.

    It's not Privatisation.
    Even those influentual groups opposed to the bill (British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing) don't argue that it is Privatisation.
    It is a further opening up of compeition WITH the private sector. Something which Labour introduced.
    Don't get all your facts from the Guardian.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1048.

    Maybe the NHS should employ Cameron and his buddies as surgical assistants… they seem pretty adept at performing a total ‘stitch up’ on the ‘electorate’ (yes it’s an intentional pun!). I wouldn’t employ them as surgeons however, they seem pretty ‘cut happy’ and indiscriminate when it comes to putting lives before the financial considerations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1047.

    F.A.O.: BBC On-line Health Editor/ Political Editor
    Your ''Not Going'' list on the News item:

    ''NHS changes: Lansley heckled in Downing Street protest''

    excludes the RCGPs from the list.

    Why? I know the Government excluded them from their Exclusive NHS privitisation meeting today but do you have to ''exclude'' them from your BBC list too?


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