Live updates

Hunt 'reserves right' to impose contracts on junior doctors

Credit: PA

Junior doctors may still have a new contract imposed on them by the Government despite a potential agreement being reached that could avert strike action, the Health Secretary has warned.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jeremy Hunt insisted he must retain the right to impose new terms at some point despite the "time-limited" agreement for the British Medical Association (BMA) to suspend strike action if the Government agrees not to impose a new contract.

Mr Hunt also denied claims that he had mishandled the dispute after Labour claimed that disruption caused to patients by cancelled operations could have been avoided had he agreed to mediated talks earlier in the process.


BMA executive meeting to discuss government 'time out' proposal

The junior doctors executive committee is meeting now to decide whether to halt a planned strike and accept the government's proposal for further talks.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs in the Commons there had been a "time-limited" agreement made this afternoon for further talks, where the BMA would suspend strike action if the Government agrees not to impose a new contract on doctors.

Shadow Cabinet backs free vote for MPs on Syria airstrikes

Labour has confirmed it will allow its MPs a free vote on the decision to launch airstrikes against so-called Islamic State in Syria.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the Shadow Cabinet will urge David Cameron to "step back from the rush to war" and hold a full two-day debate on the issue.

Today's Shadow Cabinet agreed to back Jeremy Corbyn's recommendation of a free vote on the Government's proposal to authorise UK bombing in Syria.

The Shadow Cabinet decided to support the call for David Cameron to step back from the rush to war and hold a full two day debate in the House of Commons on such a crucial national decision.

Shadow Cabinet members agreed to call David Cameron to account on the unanswered questions raised by his case for bombing: including how it would accelerate a negotiated settlement of the Syrian civil war; what ground troops would take territory evacuated by ISIS; military co-ordination and strategy; the refugee crisis and the imperative to cut-off of supplies to ISIS.

– Spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn


Nearly 100 Labour MPs would support Syria airstrikes, Shadow Cabinet told

The Shadow Cabinet has been told that nearly 100 Labour MPs would back David Cameron's proposal to begin airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, according to ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship.

Junior doctors strike: 'Potential agreement reached'

A potential agreement has been reached between the British Medical Association and the government, which could mean planned junior doctors strikes will be suspended, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Labour MP: Corbyn's poll of party members 'not credible'

File photo of Labour's John Woodcock, MP for Barrow & Furness Credit: PA

Labour MP John Woodcock has criticised Jeremy Corbyn's decision to poll party members over airstrikes in Syria was "completely not credible".

Mr Woodcock also said the position of the Labour leader added confusion to the debate.

Mr Woodcock, who is in favour of airstrikes, said:

If the party leader makes a call that actually throws fuel on to the fire, all it will do is distract further from the actual issue at hand which is how does the UK best defeat a group that is systematically killing, raping and enslaving everyone who does not bow down to their very precise, medievalist perversion of Islam.

– John Woodcock, Labour

He questioned how Mr Corbyn could say that the party's official position was against the strikes.

He criticised the poll - in which 75% of those asked said they opposed further intervention - claiming it excluded many Labour members who were not active on social media or email, and questioned the timing of the release of the results.

"I just imagine what Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott and John McDonnell would have had to say if a past Labour leader had deployed those kind of tactics one hour before a very important meeting of the Cabinet before military intervention."

Load more updates Back to top

From our journalists