This is utter humiliation for Jeremy Hunt, who had ruled out any negotiation involving the conciliation service ACAS over the impending junior doctors’ strike.

But it seems likely there are more climbdowns to come.

The BMA has released a statement welcoming the talks, but warning that the threat of having a new contract imposed on medical staff must be removed altogether before industrial action planned to take place next week can be called off.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said the BMA would begin these discussions as soon as possible but Mr Hunt must remove his threat of imposing a contract on doctors in training in England to defer Tuesday’s planned action.

Jeremy Hunt has performed a dramatic U-turn offering to negotiate with junior doctors using an arbitrator in an attempt to avoid a strike .

In an eleventh-hour climbdown, the Health Secretary offered to commence talks with independent arbitration body ACAS.

Unions approached ACAS ahead of voting for strike action in the hope a solution could be reached.

But the health secretary was reluctant to negotiate unless it was directly with unions.

He chose to reveal the reverse-ferret within an hour of George Osborne delivering his Autumn Statement .

A Department of Health spokesperson said the timing was nothing to do with the Autumn Statement, and it had been an ongoing decision.

Source: Jeremy Hunt makes humiliating climbdown offering ACAS negotiation to avoid junior doctors strike – Mirror Online

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