MP ducks the big question.

Insurance Times posed the tough questions at a patient advocacy fringe session during last week’s Labour party conference in Manchester.

The session, titled “Is the health service really listening? And is it learning?”, drew patients and advocates who wanted to find out how to access proper levels of care.

That’s when your correspondent stepped in and asked health minister Ben Bradshaw about the role of private medical insurance (PMI) providers in the NHS.

While the session chairman was miffed that the query strayed from the official topic, Bradshaw has happy to answer, though he didn’t exactly tackle the issue. Instead, he took the chance to proclaim that the NHS would never be privatised.

This answer was met with raucous applause and Insurance Times got no chance to ask a follow-up question as Bradshaw darted off to his next meeting.