Did Jeremy Hunt commit perjury to ‘win’ Junior Docs court case? | The SKWAWKBOX Blog

Last month, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt claimed to have won the Dept of Health (DH)’s court case against ‘junior doctors’ (who are actually any doctor below consultant level).

A group of doctors had brought the case against Hunt’s planned imposition of a new contract which, in spite of government double-speak, will overstretch them even further for less pay and present a danger to patients. It’s clear to anyone that this plan is just the next step in impoverishing our NHS and its staff in order to eventually end it as a national provision, ‘free at the point of need’.

The DH ‘won’ the case by claiming they’re not planning to ‘impose’ the new contract, but are simply recommending it – in spite of Hunt telling the House of Commons on more than one occasion that he would.

Hunt’s apparent backtracking meant that the DH’s ‘win’ was more like a win for the doctors. However, evidence has emerged that the Health Secretary may have perjured himself (or had others do it for him) in order to win the case.

Last week, at least one NHS trusts sent emails to their ‘junior’ doctors about their contracts. The emails contained the following threat:


Firing someone for not signing is bad enough. Adding the threat that their training will be ended and the time already spent training will be invalidated is the worst kind of coercion.

If it looks like imposition, walks like imposition and quacks like imposition, it’s not ‘recommending’. And delegating the dirty work doesn’t absolve Jeremy Hunt for misleading a court in order to win a case brought justly against you.

What’s to be done? Read on here: Did Jeremy Hunt commit perjury to ‘win’ Junior Docs court case? | The SKWAWKBOX Blog


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24 thoughts on “Did Jeremy Hunt commit perjury to ‘win’ Junior Docs court case? | The SKWAWKBOX Blog

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Apparently Hitler didn’t say those words, although they are commonly attributed to him.

  1. Roland

    Hunt should be back in court for telling lies which is a crime but our legal system is run by tories so I should thing he will be OK

  2. Dez

    Agree if the Hunt cannot tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth he should not be in the leadership position that he holds. Integrity with the Cons does not exist especially if they face political embarresment. That Hunt must be close to demotion and did not want to upset his beloved new misguided leader who saved him from the back benches….why? Is he her next fall guy to show she is tough and listens to what people want? . Surely Hansard would record his exact words to Parliament and by default the public who deserve the highest standards than this Hunt has provided during his dubious political career. The media utterred his statement so many times one wonders what cloud the judge in this case lives on if he/she believed that Hunt over the doctors…….Now the evidence and the interpretation of his direction is out and he needs dragging back into the Courts to answer to his shameless lying.

      1. Sven Wraight

        Wrong, Hairyloon: Parliamentary Privilege only means Hunt can’t be sued for libel nor slander for what he says in parliament.
        Your other comment on this page that JH is exonerated from responsibility by the court case and the NHS Trusts are now the people Junior Doctors should be arguing with is also incorrect.
        Taken together, these statements seem to display support for Hunt, unless it’s just coincidence you’ve erroneously supported him twice.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Well… not quite. Here’s Wikipedia:

        The ancient and undoubted rights and privileges of the Commons are claimed by the Speaker at the beginning of each new Parliament. The privileges are only codified in Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice and the House itself is the only judge of its own privileges. Most of those specifically claimed are practically obsolete, but others remain very real:
        1.Freedom of speech; (members speaking in the House are not liable for defamation)
        2.Freedom from arrest in civil matters (practically obsolete);
        3.Access of the Commons to the Crown (via the Speaker); and
        4.That the most favourable construction should be placed upon the deliberations of the Commons.

        Privileges not specifically mentioned:
        1.Right of the House to regulate its own composition; (although election petitions are now determined by the ordinary Courts)
        2.Right of the House to regulate its own internal proceedings, both as to matters and procedures;
        3.Right to punish members and “strangers” for breach of privilege and contempt;
        4.Right of freedom from interference (although members are no longer immune from all civil actions)

        Parliament has Absolute Privilege, which is a complete bar to any legal action, when it comes to defamation – but that’s all.

      3. Hairyloon

        And of course Wikipedia is infallible…
        You may recall during the expenses scandal that a group of MP’s tried to abuse their privilege to avoid prosecution.
        If I may quote the Lord Chief Justice in his judgment on that case:

        “The willingness of men like Eliot to sacrifice their freedom for the principles in which they believed, provides the context to article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1688 Will and Mary sess2 c2 WM, “an Act declareing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject…”. In a clear reference to Eliot’s Case the Heads of Declaration related, among other complaints, “Illegal prosecutions”, and referred to “Prosecutions in the Court of King’s Bench the Matters and Causes cognizable onely in Parlyament and by diverse other Arbitrary and Illegall Courses”.

        Among the “Subject’s Rights”, (which clearly demonstrates that this is a right given to Parliament on behalf of the nation as a whole) article 9 declared:

        “Freedom of Speech.

        ** That the Freedome of Speech and Debates or Proceedings in Parlyament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any Court or Place out of Parlyament”.”

        (Beginning at paragraph 12)

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        What is the matter with all the people criticising Wikipedia – sarcastically, in your case?
        It’s a self-policing system. We have seen instances in which articles have been modified by people with an axe to grind and – lo and behold – within a very short time the articles are restored to factual accuracy. I notice that the passage you quote in fact supports the Wikipedia article I mentioned.

        Freedom of speech, though, is not freedom from prosecution and MPs are entirely subject to the criminal law of the UK.

      5. Hairyloon

        Mine what not a criticism of Wikipedia, more of those who treat it as gospel.
        It is pretty good, but very often, as in this instance, does not tell the whole story.
        Speaking of the whole story, you appear to have ignored this bit: “Proceedings in Parlyament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any Court.”
        Which is what we were talking about: the court cannot question him on what he said in parliament.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        A court doesn’t have to question anybody on what they say in Parliament – it is recorded verbatim in Hansard.
        And proceedings in Parliament aren’t impeached or questioned in court.
        But the behaviour of Parliamentarians is another matter. The Wikipedia entry is accurate.

  3. Darren Woodiwiss

    That is British employment law for you. No employer can impose a new contract on you without your agreement… if you don’t agree they can merely terminate your employment instead .

    And the conservatives wish to weaken the employees position.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s right. I’ve walked out of plenty of jobs when the contract was changed without my agreement.
      Most of those companies fell on hard times.

  4. mohandeer

    Jeremy Hunt really is a bent nail, he’s worse than some of the people we actually put in prison for far less misrepresentations to the courts.

  5. Hairyloon

    The court case was not about Hunt imposing the contracts on the doctors, it was about whether he could force the NHS trusts to impose the contracts.
    It appears that it is the NHS trusts that your argument is with now…

    1. Sven Wraight

      Hairyloon, The link in the article above – http://www.gponline.com/jeremy-hunt-tells-mps-can-will-impose-junior-doctor-contract/article/1391639 – leads to a 19/4/16 article referring to “NHS Foundation Trusts”, which employ most doctors and are independent, and “NHS Trusts”, where it specifically says Hunt has the “theoretical” power to introduce new contracts, but only after consultation.
      The NHS Trusts are following his instructions, so he would seem to be guilty. However, I confess I don’t know what is meant by “theoretical”, being under the impression no-one can unilaterally change a contract.

      1. A Grumpy_Old_Man (@Hairyloon)

        Again we fall foul of WordPress’ idiosyncrasies: the comment was in reply to your point about Hitler.
        Though my point about McDonnell was entirely off topic so it may well be still confusing.
        My point there was what Mao said, that John read out was bang on: “we must learn from those who know, no matter who they are…”
        The fact that he was laughed off the stand was utterly predictable so he should have been ready with a good comeback: that they reject the truth because they don’t like the source is a measure of their stupidity.

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