Jeremy Hunt talk goes ahead after doctors were told it was cancelled

Doctors who had paid £15 for the event later found out it had quietly been moved to another location

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Indy Politics

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt held a drinks and canapés evening despite doctors who had planned to attend being told it was cancelled

Those hoping to attend the event on Friday at a hotel in Fareham, Hampshire, were told the event had been cancelled.

Some junior doctors and their supporters had said it may be worthwhile to buy tickets to engage Mr Hunt in a debate about his controversial new employment contract.

Doctors who had paid £15 for the event later found out it had quietly been moved to another location, with those in attendance being checked to ensure they hadn't brought any medics with them.

Dr Kathryn Carey-Jones wrote on Facebook: “ I could have accepted being told I am not allowed to attend given recent events, but I was lied to, to keep me away ...

"This is dishonesty at its best and would not be accepted from a doctor to a politician. If this is the way the local Conservatives treat their local doctors, what can we expect from the rest? Imagine if we lied to the public like this ...”

GP Emma Nash told Portsmouth News a friend she was going with, a Conservative party member, was refused access to the venue until she convinced the organisers there were no doctors with her. 

“I feel really disappointed. There is a lack of respect for me, as a professional, to be told as a medic I’m not allowed to go somewhere where my own secretary of state is going to be,” Ms Nash said.

“If they had said ‘no doctors’, then fine. But to tell us it was cancelled and go and have it at Fareham college is deceitful.

“How are we supposed to have any kind of faith in somebody who deliberately manipulates their way out of seeing us?”

Junior Doctors Contract

It is currently unclear how many doctors had purchased £15 tickets for the gathering.

Thomas Fyfe, the chariman of Fareham Conservative Association, told Portsmouth News: “Because of the very real threat of disturbance from groups circulating details of our planned reception with Jeremy Hunt, the advertised event was cancelled on security grounds.

“A small party event for party members to meet Mr Hunt was held instead at another location. We regret the inconvenience caused to those who had bought tickets and were unable to attend, all of whom will be offered a full refund.”

On Thursday, Mr Hunt announced he would unilaterally impose a new employment contract on NHS junior doctors without their consent.