They received a rise averaging nearly 9% in the last financial year.

Talks last year with the British Medical Association, which represents the junior doctors, about an extra 3% top-up did not reach an agreement.

It has since said it is willing to have the 35% pay rise phased in, after initially calling for it in one go, but government stands firm.

Mr Streeting told the Tony Blair Institute Future of Britain conference: “This is an important reset moment I think in the relationship between junior doctors and their government.”

Labour had been very clear in opposition the headline pay demand was unaffordable – and that “has not changed”.

Junior doctors deserved respect and being honest with them was key to that.

BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said: “Mr Streeting has said pay restoration will be a journey: we are looking to set off.

​”We thank the Secretary of State for the meeting and have agreed to meet again next week.”

Dr Laurenson added: “This was definitely a collaborative talk, and I think it’s fair to say we have no plans at the moment to call for strike action.”


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