Andy Burnham has asked Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to substantiate his claims that the Labour MP hid hospital failings in a "cover up".
He said he was concerned that disclosure rules had been broken and challenged Mr Hunt to apologise.
It is impossible to see how you can claim this mounted to a cover-up," he told him in a letter.
I therefore ask you, by the end of today, to provide me with evidence to substantiate your assertion.
If you fail to provide such evidence, I will require a full retraction and public apology. If that is not forthcoming I will consider further action.
More top news
School fees, pricey private medical care and the fear of interest rate rises mean even those on £200,000 are feeling the pinch.
Overnight it will be cooler and fresher but most places will stay dry with a nippy start to Sunday.
X Factor contestant Raign seems to impress the Wembley audience with her own song even though Cheryl finds her "really annoying".