A top Tory has sparked fury by killing off a law to give cancer patients life-saving drugs for as little as 5p.
MPs revolted in the Commons today as Health Minister Alistair Burt spoke for half an hour despite howls from Tory, Labour and SNP backbenchers.
They tried three times to hold a vote but they failed and the clock reached 2.30pm, ending the debate and shelving the Bill.
The Labour MP behind the law told the Mirror it showed ‘the worst of our politics’.
In heated exchanges Mr Burt said he was right to take his time and accused MPs of ‘shroud-waving’ – exploiting a death or tragedy to hog the spotlight.
He snapped: “Oh, shroud-waving, thank you very much, that’s all we need” – prompting shouts of ‘shocking!’.
But he said sorry after Labour MP George Howarth fumed: “Would you not think in the context of this Bill that the term shroud waving was at the very least inappropriate?”
He told MPs: “I certainly did myself a disservice with a silly and offhand remark. I entirely accept that and that’s not like me, I apologise.”
It is the second week in a row that a backbench Bill has run out of time after a bid to give carers free parking was fatally stalled by a Tory’s 90-minute speech .
This week’s was the Off-Patent Drugs Bill by Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds, who claimed it would save patients’ lives and millions of pounds in NHS cash.
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