Downing Street E-petition passed key 100,000 signature threshold yesterday


UNISON branches have been leading a campaign to encourage members of the public to sign a petition calling for the Coalition government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill.

At one point on Tuesday, it was estimated that people were signing the on-line petition at the rate of 150 a minute, as leading union activists and branch officials sent numerous messages on social media encouraging members to support the campaign.

Yesterday morning, the organisers said they hoped to reach the threshold of 100,000 signatures by the end of the month. That is the figure required by Downing Street to trigger a House of Commons debate on the issue.

Such was the surge in interest in the petition, it had shot past that number by 7.30pm.

By this morning, the figure had jumped to more than 111,200.

The petition was originated by a Greater Manchester GP, Dr Kailash Chand, who describes himself as a passionate supporter of the NHS.

In a message last night on Twitter he said: “Don’t let’s stop at 100,000, keep going to show how much the public hate having bill pushed through against their wishes.”

Sarah Gorton, UNISON senior national officer for health, said: “The Government appears determined to ignore the voices of NHS professionals, patients and even – it seems – its own ministers who all say that it must drop the Health and Social Care Bill.

“The bill spells real trouble for the health service – patients know it, health workers know it, and even members of the Cabinet know it. It is time for the bill to be scrapped.

“In opposition, David Cameron told us that the NHS was safe in the Tories’ hands but this bill shows us the truth. It is flawed and dangerous and we know that patients and health workers will pay the price.”

Supporters of the DropTheBill campaign can sign the petition here:

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