Prime Minister David Cameron said the government's security services sometimes rely on accessing the confidential data of individuals in order to identify and disrupt terrorist plots.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Mr Cameron said the recent legal judgement on privacy rights by the European Court of Justice has left some legal ambiguity as to whether internet companies are obliged to hand over data, and this needed to be cleared up.
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Almost a fifth of hospital patients were also unable to reach their call button, a report warned.
At least 2,400 cancer sufferers die needlessly every year because their GP does not refer them to a specialist quickly enough.
It comes after shadow chancellor John McDonnell made a surprise U-turn on the Tory budget vote which is due later today.