Boris Johnson taken to task over failing the NHS

“24 hours in A&E used to be a TV programme,” he said. “Now it’s the Government’s policy”.

Boris Johnson

In his first PMQs since surviving a vote of no-confidence, which has permanently scarred Boris Johnson’s authority and credibility, the prime minister faced questions not only about when he intends to quit but also over the Tory Party’s failures when it comes to the NHS.

Keir Starmer used the opportunity to seize on Nadine Dorries’ comments earlier this week, after the culture secretary admitted that the Tories had left the NHS “wanting & inadequate” when the pandemic hit.

Starmer asked Johnson: “If GP services were inadequate before the pandemic, what are they now?”

The Labour leader said that Boris Johnson was ‘utterly unable to improve our NHS’ as he took Johnson and the Tories to task over long waiting times. “24 hours in A&E used to be a TV programme,” he said. “Now it’s the Government’s policy”.

 Starmer also criticised Johnson over his failed promise to build 40 new hospitals. He said: “The Prime Minister pretending no rules were broken didn’t work. Pretending the economy is moving didn’t work. Pretending to build 40 new hospitals won’t work either.

“They [the Tories] want him to change but he can’t. As always, when he’s falling short he just changes the rules and lowers the bar.

“In March, he proposed changing the NHS contract. He wants to double the length of time patients can be made to wait for surgery. He scrapped zero tolerance of 12-hour waits at A and E.”

Sir Keir also highlighted the plight of several constituents who had suffered due to long waiting times in the NHS. He said: “I also spoke to Akshay Patel.

“Last year, his mother woke up unable to breathe.

“Akshay called 999 six times.

“In his last call, he said: ‘I rang an hour ago for an ambulance as she had difficulty breathing. Now she’s dead.'”

The Labour leader also took a swipe at Johnson over the recent no-confidence vote, saying: “I couldn’t make out whether that introductory noise was cheers or boos.

“The trouble is I don’t know whether it is directed at me or him.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

Comments are closed.