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Nine NHS bosses withdraw support for Hunt over imposition of junior doctors' contracts

At least nine health trust bosses have withdrawn their support for Jeremy Hunt's plan to impose new contracts on junior doctors.

Protesters out in force over the junior doctors contract row today Credit: ITV News

The names of 20 NHS bosses in England were attached to a letter advising the government to do "whatever it deems necessary" to break the deadlock with young medics.

Now at least nine say they never supported the idea of forcing junior doctors to accept new contracts and did not back the Health Secretary's move.

One said she was not even aware her name was on the letter and had asked for it to be removed.

A number say they support the Government's contract offer but do not back doctors having to accept it.

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was imposing the contract Credit: ITV News

Claire Murdoch, head of the Central and North West London NHS FT, said she was not aware that her name was on the letter until it was published, and immediately asked for it to be removed.

Sir Andrew Cash, head of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (FT), said: "I support the improved offer made this week as fair and reasonable, but I do not support imposition".

Andrew Foster, of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS FT, said: "I have not supported contract imposition. I have supported the view that the offer made is reasonable."

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Junior doctor says new contract is 'just not safe'

As protesters continue to make themselves heard outside the Department of Health, junior doctors have been digesting the news that the controversial new contract proposed by the health secretary will be forced upon them.

One junior A&E doctor, who previously said he didn't want to strike but said "the future of the NHS depends on it", now says "this demonstrates exactly the sort of negotiations that have been on offer."

Despite the advice and the protestations of thousands of the country's leading medical experts, some of their own advisers and some of their own politicians, Jeremy Hunt has today decided that he is going to impose his version of this contract.

– Dr Amar Mashru

Dr Mashru adds that it is "just not safe" to "take services that are already stretched, and spread them even thinner".

Adidas terminates Adam Johnson's boot deal

Sportswear brand Adidas has cancelled its boot deal with Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson.

The Guardian reports the manufacturer reacted swiftly after Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one of grooming, in a trial that is ongoing.

Johnson arriving in court with his girlfriend Stacey Flounders Credit: PA

The 28-year-old denies two further charges of sexual activity with a child. The trial is set to begin this Friday, and Johnson has been ruled out of Sunderland's game on Saturday by his manager Sam Allardyce.

Adidas can confirm that it has terminated its contract with footballer Adam Johnson with immediate effect. This follows his guilty pleas entered earlier this week.

– Statement from sportswear manufacturer Adidas

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Scottish MPs vote to keep income tax in line with UK

Income tax in Scotland will remain in line with the rest of the UK. Credit: Danny Lawson / PA Archive/PA Images

Scottish MPs have voted to keep the country's income tax rate in line with the rest of the UK for 2016/17.

MSPs at Holyrood were voting to set the new Scottish rate for the levy for the first time under changes brought in as part of the 2012 Scotland Act.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland wanted the rate to be increased by 1p, saying such a move would raise almost £500 million for education and local services.

But MSPs backed Deputy First Minister John Swinney's proposal by 74 to 35 for the Scottish rate to be set at 10p in the pound for 2016/17, keeping income tax the same on both sides of the border.

In short Scottish tax payers will see no increase in their income tax next year. That is the right decision. It is a decision that takes into account the challenges that are faced by members of the public.

– Deputy First Minister John Swinney
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