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Commons leader backs 'good culture secretary' Miller

Leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley has backed beleaguered Maria Miller, saying that he hoped she would not resign over the row on her expenses and added that "she is a good culture secretary".

Andrew Lansley has backed Maria Miller. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

When asked on BBC's Newsnight whether Mrs Miller would resign, he said: "I don't think so. I hope not. From my point of view I think she is a good culture secretary."

Mr Lansley said it was the "Prime Minister's prerogative whether a minister has his confidence".

Pressed on how long he thought Mrs Miller would stay in her job, he replied: "I think that is an unreasonable question to ask."

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All children to be given flu vaccination

All children are to be given the flu vaccination after experts said it could save up to 2,000 lives a year.

The scheme, which is expected to be rolled out in 2014, will see all children aged two to 17 given the vaccination through a nasal spray.

A boy is given flu vaccine in a nasal spray. Credit: Reuters

Younger children will be given the spray at their GP practice and schoolchildren will receive it at school.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the Government on vaccination policy, said the flu programme should be extended to children because it could reduce the rate of infection by 40%.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has accepted the recommendation, a Department of Health spokesman said.

Andrew Lansley 'misled the public and the medical profession'

Doctors at a meeting of the British Medical Association have called on the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to resign after "misleading" the public at the last election over his plans for the NHS. Dr Gary Marlowe, who presented the motion, said:

It is clear that during the election he misled the public and the profession ... The White Paper was published, it was a broad-stoke, essentially marketisation-focused approach. The detail and the consequences of the various parts of the Bill were completely absent. Either he knowingly did this or it was an incompetent, ill-thought-through White Paper. The Bill went through a stunning number of amendments and revisions. I believe the most of any Bill. How can we trust someone with such a poor record with our NHS?

– Dr Gary Marlowe

Doctors call for Andrew Lansley's resignation

Doctors have called for Andrew Lansley to resign, saying they have "no confidence" in the Health Secretary.

Medics went head to head with Mr Lansley last week over the Government's controversial pension reforms.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The British Medical Association's (BMA) accused Mr Lansley of "breaching doctors' trust" by tearing up the pension deal which was only agreed four years ago.

Today, delegates at the BMA annual conference in Bournemouth agreed on a motion calling for Mr Lansley's resignation.

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More than 20,000 appointments cancelled due to strike

The Department of Health said that their figures estimate that around 11,500 doctors, just over 8% of those working in the NHS in England, are taking part in industrial action today.

Though less than 10% of doctors are on strike, more than 20,000 patients have had their appointments or operations cancelled.

  • Around 2,700 operations were cancelled and rescheduled
  • Around 18,750 outpatients appointments cancelled and rescheduled
  • Approximately 6,000 GP surgeries have been providing routine appointments
  • Approximately 2,000 GP surgeries have been providing urgent appointments only

Lansley 'pleased' majority of doctors have maintained services

In the run up to these strikes our objectivehas been to minimise disruption for patients. We asked doctors to recognisethat their quarrel was not with patients but with the Government. I am pleasedthat a significant majority of doctors have done just that and maintainedservices for their patients.

But let us not forget that the consequence ofthe BMA’s decision to ask doctors to go on strike has been that thousands ofpatients who expected to have an operation or an appointment today have beeninconvenienced or distressed by delay to their care.

– Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary
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