Andy Burnham denies hospital 'cover up'

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has denied trying to prevent a hospital failings scandal becoming public knowledge when he was serving as health secretary in 2009.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has denied ordering a 'cover up' of hospital failings.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has denied ordering a 'cover up' of hospital failings. Credit: PA

Emails released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog under freedom of information laws showed that the Department of Health under Labour tried to stop details emerging of a hospital scandal involving higher-than-normal death rates.

Jeremy Hunt, the current health secretary, described the emails as "shocking revelations on Andy Burnham's attempts to cover up failing hospitals" but Burnham accused Hunt of launching a "smear campaign without evidence" against him.

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Apology to Burnham over emails

The Department of Health has apologised to Labour's Andy Burnham over the release of confidential emails he claims were used to smear him, ITV News has learnt.