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Lansley denies Cameron pull-out order

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The shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has said that there is no truth to allegations that David Cameron told him to withdraw from cross-party talks on the future of elderly care.

Interviewed by Today presenter Justin Webb, Mr Lansley said that Mr Cameron had not known about the discussions until Mr Lansley told him.

But he denied that Mr Cameron had demanded that he pull out of talks with his Labour and Liberal Democrat counterparts, aimed at reaching an agreement on principles for provision and payment of care for the elderly in England.

"No, that's not true. What has happened all the way through is that is that I have been willing and participating - and indeed initiated - an effort to try and secure consensus where we can. But there is no point trying to force a consensus. Either it exists or it doesn't.

"And frankly there are principles of fiscal responsibility, of giving people personalised responsibility over their care, and not imposing a compulsory levy and a tax at death on people, all of which are important principles".

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