Former UNISON rep June Hautot tells UnionNews she will confront any politician who tries to destroy the NHS

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Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is heckled by June Hautot as he arrives at a meeting on the future of the NHS. Protesters gathered outside to protest what they called the 'Summit of the Uninvited'. Michael Kemp / Alamy

The woman who yesterday hit the headlines after confronting health secretary Andrew Lansley outside Downing Street has told UnionNews she would do the same to any politician who tries to destroy the NHS.

Former UNISON rep June Hautot attended a demonstration in Westminster to protest at the government’s refusal to invite her union and other health bodies to talks about the future of the NHS.

She said: “I was there because they weren’t allowing healthcare professionals into the meeting – they won’t even listen to us. They just want to speak to their friends, people who are on their side, their businesspeople, that’s all.”

June says she was surprised to find herself face-to-face with Andrew Lansley.

“I didn’t even know he was coming, so it certainly wasn’t premeditated,” she says,  “but when I saw him, I had to tell him to stop what he was doing.

“He had the audacity to tell me he’s not privatising the NHS, yet he’s only got to go back to his office and look at all the paperwork to find out he’s lying.

“The NHS is precious. If it’s taken away people will feel very unsafe. We feel safe now because we know who’s accountable. If it’s privatised, we lose that accountability.

“I want an NHS that treats everyone the same. We shouldn’t have it divided into those who are rich and those who are poor. By removing the cap on private beds, you’re going to have far more private patients coming through before the likes of me and you go through – we’ll be at the end of the queue.”

Responding to reports she was reduced to tears after the incident, she said: “Let’s just say I was trembling and I was annoyed because Lansley lied to me.”

She said she was surprised to find herself on the front page of newspapers and on the TV news, but feels her intervention was worth it – despite the tears – if the government changes its mind and drops the controversial Bill.

“If it helps highlight the issue to people who didn’t know about what was happening to our NHS – and it is ‘ours’ – then I’m pleased,” she said.

“I’d certainly challenge Lansley again if I saw him, the same as I’d challenge any politician, and there are many of them, who tries to destroy the NHS.”


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