Andrew Lansley heckled by June Hautot in NHS protest


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

Related Stories

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(BMA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives, are also among those who want it to be withdrawn.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."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 426.

    417. Dave

    England will then lose the the financial benefits that Scotland pays at present. We will have more for our free health, education etc and England will learn to give less to the rich.

  • rate this

    Comment number 425.

    A little known fact that Labour has failed to made clear re the 18week treatment period.It only applies after the PCT has agreed to fund it.If the treatment,irrespective of whether the consultant recommends it,does not meet the local PCT policy criteria,then a) one suffers in silence until the symptons worsen - what's this waiting list I wonder or b) go private. Nothing wrong with the NHS?

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    Johval (#418)
    Start an E-petition, I'll sign that, but you will have to word it very carfully or this "open Government" might reject it

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    NHS changes: PM to host talks on implementing plans

    Shouldn't that say?

    NHS changes: PM to host talks on implementing sell-off plans

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    354.Some Lingering Fog

    "... same old politically motivated rhetoric about the NHS being privatised..."

    Answering a question with a question, and throwing in a political point, are you a Tory politician?

    If competition undermines choice, quality and ultimately treatment, then it is not and never will be "free at the point of delivery" Negative and Positive externalites.

  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    This is simply an example of a policy which sounded good to a party in opposition but is politically and practically unsound in real government.

    Parties of all sides are susceptible to this. The only remarkable thing in this saga is that this policy has not been spiked quietly earlier. Unlike 'Thinking the unthinkable' on benefits was for the 1997 Labour administration for example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 420.

    What a joke! its not meeting it's a dictatorship he has no rights doing what hes doing! he's lied all the way through the last 5 years being power! what a scum bag! what scares me is will be paying for the nhs twice at this rate like our rubbish dentist service! this isnt good this is bad very bad! and very scary!

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    Why do we have the 5th largest defence budget in the world when we spend so much less of our GDP per capita on our Health Service than all the other significant countries?.

  • rate this

    Comment number 418.

    I demand that Cameron states exactly what he thinks is an acceptable percentage for private companies to cream off the top of the healthcare budget. We need to know what privitisation is going to be allowed to take.

  • rate this

    Comment number 417.

    405. George
    I hope that David Cameron is not including Scotland's (rather superior) version of the NHS in his chatter.

    Paid for with money from Westminster. Hurry up and get your Independence so we can plug this immense drain on English taxpayers' money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 416.

    An General Strike to support the NHS anyone? (Without health staff having to strike).

  • rate this

    Comment number 415.

    I have used the Health Service in France. It is very basic, fragmented and not a complete service.
    Our Company Accounts added that it was very expensive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 414.

    385 Prophaniti Perhaps when you have need to use the NHS & find it gone, perhaps then & only then you will understand the point of it.

    Not everyone gets seriously ill/disabled but if you have the misfortune to & for it to be long term, unless you have a big pot of gold somewhere, under a private system it's likely you'd rapidly end up destitute.
    It isn't only your 'lefties' who are concerned.

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.



  • rate this

    Comment number 412.

    #395 – that sackcloth is so itchy as well. Maybe they just made a wee error and deleted you by mistake. I know it’s happened to me, so dinny worry. I too am enjoying the debate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 411.

    Don't you think the BMA and RCN going to this meeting is a bit of a good idea (sense the sarcasm) seeing as they represent the vast majority of Health Care Professionals and it's going to be doctors who will be set with commissioning healthcare?

  • rate this

    Comment number 410.

    ....LOL I love seeing the lefties upset first thing on a monday morning, gets shot of those monday blues for me. ;-)

    Upset lefties??? ....keep 'LOLing' ...with a bit of luck we might even get 'shot' of those Tory blues for you too? :-))

  • rate this

    Comment number 409.

    #29camsw4(Editors Picks). Alliance Boots was a FTSE 100 company before it was acquired by private equity group Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts in 2007 in a £12.4Bn deal. A third of Boot's business is still run on behalf of the NHS in its pharmacies and opticians. I assume, given your comments, that you don't use this service provider for the same reason?

  • Comment number 408.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    346 That is a very naive sentiment - it will not be run by doctors or nurses, it will be run by managers who will run it to budgets. Some will succeed and some will fail and the state will pick up the pieces as ever - just like the local GP practice (private) where the doctors fell out and closed down - leaving the local NHS to pick up the pieces. Imagine if that happens to a commisioning group?


Page 33 of 54


More Politics stories



  • Lucy FranklinDouble trouble

    'Rising house prices left me high and dry - twice!'

  • NS Savannah, 1962Nuclear dream

    The ship that totally failed to change the world

  • Ed Miliband takes a selfie at a Cambridge hairdressersNo more photo ops?

    Why is Ed Miliband drawing attention to his public image?

  • Espresso cup7 days quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?

  • Glasgow 2014 quaichs and medalsQuaich guide

    What do the Scottish gifts given to Games medallists symbolise?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.