Blair loyalist Dobson joins the rebellion against PFI

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The rebellion against Tony Blair's plans to extend the role of private companies in the running of public services will grow today when Frank Dobson, a former health secretary, joins the criticism.

Mr Dobson, a Blair loyalist, warns that the Government must not abandon Labour's traditional belief in public services as billions of pounds are being injected into them. He will tell health workers in his Holborn and St Pancras constituency: "If the public service ethic was good enough to get us through the bad times, we must give it the chance to flourish as extra funding comes through."

The political committee of the public service union Unison decided yesterday to submit an emergency motion to next month's Labour Party conference attacking the Government's plans on private finance initiatives (PFI), describing them as "creeping privatisation". But there was better news for the Government when it emerged that a debate on the issue at next week's TUC conference will be held on the same day as the result of the Tory leadership election, which is likely to limit media coverage.