Unionists plot rebellion on Health Bill if Government negotiations fail before Lords

Boris Johnson: Expert hits out at 'embarrassing' speech

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

More than 20 MPs signed an amendment to the Government’s Health and Care Bill on Monday. The move, supported by 18 Conservative and eight DUP MPs, could have ensured “interoperability of data and collection of comparable healthcare statistics across the UK”.

But by plotting a rebellion the group of Unionist MPs could put even more pressure on Boris Johnson, 57, and his Government.

The Prime Minister is currently facing down growing opposition from both inside and outside his party.

Reports suggest up to a dozen MPs have already submitted letters of no confidence against Mr Johnson’s leadership to the chair of the 1922 Committee.

Support for the Johnson-led Conservative Party has also dipped in the opinion polls following allegations of Tory sleaze and the ongoing Channel crossing crisis.

Recent opinion polls put Mr Johnson’s Tories neck-and-neck with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

JUST IN: Boris writes to Macron calling for joint patrols on French beaches to curb migrants

Express.co.uk has been told private negotiations between Unionist MPs and the Government led to a division on the amendment being avoided.

However, a source close to one of the Unionist MPs said: “We are already in talks to add in the Lords if the Government doesn’t give us a concession.”

The source also claimed the group had enough support to force the Prime Minister to rely on support from the opposition benches.

“We have the numbers to make the Government dependent on the opposition,” they warned.

It is said the concession agreed to by MPs and the Government involves negotiations with devolved administrations or an alternative proposal before the bill reaches the Upper House.

READ MORE: Patel shames SNP ‘actual inability to understand’ migration issue

But the source claimed such a move was merely a “time-buying exercise” and suggested the UK Government “is keen to appease” administrations at Cardiff Bay, Holyrood and Stormont.

MPs who were signed up in favour of the amendment include ex-Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, 67, former Health Secretary Matthew Hancock, 43, his predecessor Jeremy Hunt, 55, and DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, 58.

Politicians associated with the so-called Conservative Union Research Unit were also among those backing the amendment.

According to data shared with Express.co.uk, waiting times are much higher in Labour-run Wales than they are in Tory-governed England.

In June 2021, almost one-in-five Welsh residents were on an NHS waiting list – with around one-in-ten of which waiting for six months or more.

DON’T MISS:
Boris dealt brutal Brexit blow from new German leader [INSIGHT]
Nicola Sturgeon erupts as she’s confronted with horror Indy poll [REVEALED]

Brexit: French fishermen vow to block Channel Tunnel TOMORROW [LIVE]

In comparison, the number of English residents on NHS waiting lists in the same months was less than one-in-ten.

The figure rose on either side of the River Severn in August, with 21.5 percent of Welsh residents and 11.9 percent of those in England on waiting lists.

Data from Scotland for August remains unavailable.

The difference in waiting times between Wales and England comes despite Wales spending more per head on the NHS.

Wales spends £2,402 per head on the NHS.

However, the figure is slightly lower in England at just £2,269 per head.

Additional reporting by Jack Walters

Source: Read Full Article