Sir Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, has confirmed that he intends to stand down at the next General Election. Lamb has held the seat for the party since beating David Prior in 2001 and was also a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats in 2015.
Speaking in an interview with the local newspaper, the EDP, Lamb said:
“I think we’ve become a horribly divided country and we’ve got to persuade people from across the political spectrum that national unity is worth giving up their hard positions for.”
“I absolutely don’t want to stop working but the things I’m passionate about, are the things I can best promote outside parliament.”
Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, has rejected a proposal from Heidi Alexander, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, to trial the proposed junior doctors’ contracts before a full implementation.
Alexander’s proposal was also supported by Dan Poulter, a Conservative MP who is a former Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, and Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP who was the Minister of State for Care and Support in the Coalition Government.
Hunt said on Twitter that the contracts were already being staged, and said:
“Labour ‘plan’ is opportunism – only 11% of junior docs go onto new contracts in August”.
Hunt wrote to Dr Mark Porter, the Chairman of the BMA council, on 23 April 2016 in a final bid to avoid the strike. The letter included the final paragraph:
“The extreme action planned will be deeply worrying for patients, and place enormous additional strain on our NHS at a time of intense pressure. I therefore appeal to you one final time to call off strike action that will see doctors withdraw potentially life-saving care, and to meet with me on Monday to discuss a better way forward”.
The two-day strike of junior doctors will take place from 08.00 until 17.00 on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April 2016. The strikes will also involve accident and emergency departments for the first times.
A spokesman for the NHS said:
“Essential care will be provided by senior staff. You can help the NHS cope by choosing the right service and attending A&E only if it is essential”.
The Liberal Democrats have confirmed that Tim Farron is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. Farron received 56.5% of the votes beating Norman Lamb who received 43.5% of the vote.
The result was unveiled on social media with the 45 year old Farron being announced the winner at 16:00. Farron has represented the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale since 2005.
Farron said on Twitter:
“THANK YOU! This is a liberal country. Our job now is to turn millions of liberals throughout the UK into Liberal Democrats”
Nick Clegg, the former leader of the Party, also said on Twitter:
“Congratulations to new leader . It’s a tough job but the best in politics. I know Tim will do us proud”
Norman Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk, said:
“Congratulations to – will make fantastic leader championing social justice and leading the “