Calls for a limited trial of new junior doctors' contracts instead of a blanket introduction appear to have been dismissed by Jeremy Hunt after he branded the plan an act of "opportunism".

It comes after a source at the British Medical Association (BMA) told ITV News that junior doctors would have been prepared to discuss abandoning their planned two-day strike if the government agreed to the proposal.

The Health Secretary said the implementation of new contracts would go forward "as intended" as he ignored the deal put forward by a cross-party group of MPs urging him to introduce a limited pilot scheme of the terms in a bid to avoid next week's strikes.

In a series of tweets he voiced his rejection of the proposal stating "any further delay just means we will take longer to eliminate weekend effect" of alleged higher mortality rates for patients admitted to hospital at weekends.

The failure of the last ditch attempt to broker a deal means thousands of junior doctors across England will go on strike as planned for two days next week, starting at 8am on Tuesday, with the walk-out expected to cause massive disruption.