Junior Doctors have voted to take strike action. Read Keir Starmer's response to letters from constituents on this topic.
As I am sure you are aware, Junior Doctors have now voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over the new contract that Jeremy Hunt is trying to force on them.
I know from the many e-mails and letters I have received and from the emergency open meeting I held in October that many constituents and junior doctors are understandably angry and frustrated at the way the Health Secretary has gone about this.
Indeed, it is a mark of how badly the government has mismanaged its negotiations with the Junior Doctors that 98% of them felt compelled to vote in favour of strike action.
I know that strike action is – as junior doctors and the BMA have made clear – the last thing they want to do. But with a 76% turnout there can be no doubt that this reflects the strength of feeling among these doctors, who are the backbone of the NHS.
I wrote to the Health Secretary recently to express my dismay at the way the Government have treated junior doctors throughout this dispute and I have attached a copy of the response I have now received. As I am sure you will agree, the Minister’s response completely fails to address the central questions I and many of my colleagues have raised in recent weeks.
I still hope that even at this late stage, it will be possible to resolve this dispute. In order to do so, it is now vital that Jeremy Hunt immediately re-opens talks with the BMA without preconditions.
Keir Starmer, QC, MP