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Mr. Jones: I accept my hon. Friend's point. However, if we are looking for new people to come into the NHS and into the appointments system, which is what the commission was set up to do, and if we are limiting such people to those who know Dr. Marshall and others who move in certain social circles, we shall not get new blood, which is what the process was set up to achieve.

Ms Blears: I do not think for one moment that I said that candidates should be limited to people moving in the same social circle. I said that sometimes it is an asset for people who are grounded in their communities to be able to seek good, high-quality leaders for the service.

We must be clear that it is an unfortunate fact of life that in any appointment process there will be candidates who are disappointed by the outcome and who will try directly or indirectly to take the matter further. We in the House need to be careful not to become caught up in that

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process. The independent commission was established to ensure that there is fair play, that appointments are made on merit and that we have transparency.

If my hon. Friend still has concerns, he should take them up with the chair of the commission, Sir William Wells, who I am sure would be delighted to see him to talk the issues through in depth. I recommend that my hon. Friend, and any other Members who remain concerned, take up these matters. They should ensure that their concerns are placed firmly before the commission. It is important to make sure that we all have faith, trust and confidence in the appointments that are made. It is in the best interests of all our constituents to ensure that we get high-quality people into the health service who are able to perform on behalf of their communities and deliver the best services to which all our constituents are entitled.

Question put and agreed to.

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