An MP has demanded the resignation of the chairman of North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood said yesterday that Dr David Kelly had pledged to quit if commissioning powers were severely restricted.
Dr Kelly currently heads up the GP-led CCG which took over designing and buying local health services last month.
The House of Lords last week backed regulations which mean commissioners must put local health services out to tender in all but the most exceptional services.
The Government says it will mean commissioners focus on patient needs, but critics say it will lead to wholesale privatisation of the NHS.
Mr Wood (Lab) said: “The decision of the House of Lords means David Kelly has no option but to resign.
“He left those at a 38 Degrees meeting in Dewsbury last month under no illusions as to his intentions and he has indicated as much to me when I have met him.”
He said that Dr Kelly had seemed confused about the implications of the regulations and the scheduled vote when they last met.
He said: “The decision may have caught him out, but his resignation will send a strong message to the coalition government about their intentions to dismantle the NHS.”
But Dr Kelly said he had no intention of resigning.
“What I actually said at our meeting with 38 Degrees campaigners – Mr Wood was not present – is that when NHS services cease to be free to patients, I will resign. We are a long way from that,” he said.
Dr Kelly said most NHS services, including GP and hospital services, were provided through contracts.
He said the legislation would not change the fact that contracted services carried the NHS brand, showing they met standards of care and were free at point of delivery.