Rees-Mogg roasted by former Labour councillor in discussion about junior doctors’ strikes

The Tory MP’s ‘doctors shouldn’t strike’ comments on his own GB News' show backfired spectacularly.


Jacob Rees-Mogg has been at it again, spouting controversial and cantankerous comments on GB News.

Talking on his ‘State of the Nation’ show this week, the MP for North East Sommerset took issue with junior doctors who have been on strike over pay conditions.

Former Labour councillor Kevin Craig was part of what Rees-Mogg described as a ‘distinguished panel’ on the show to discuss the strikes.

Craig noted how some junior doctors are, after tax, taking home £430 a month in their second year, post qualification, asking Rees-Mogg: “Do you think that junior doctors in this country are sufficiently well paid?”

To which the MP replied: “I think they [junior doctors] get a fair deal. They are better paid than people with other degrees and they get pensions that are much higher than anybody else’s.

“They can retire, mostly at 60, on £48,000 a year. I think the overall package is a perfectly fair one.”

Craig then pressed Rees-Mogg about the hourly rate for undertaking lifesaving work in the NHS being akin in some cases to working in Pret a Manger. The GB News presenter took exception to the comment, saying that fact had been debunked by people who look at the figures. When asked whom, the MP said it was the fact-checkers “who normally back the left-wing facts.”

Craig then coolly grilled Rees-Mogg about his own ‘fact checking’, quoting a statement he had made about ‘Americans not being with us in World War II.’ After a heated clash about the remark, Rees-Mogg hastily pulled the conservation back to the doctors’ strike.

When asked by his panel guest why he thinks the doctors are on strike, the former secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “I think they’re deeply irresponsible.” His guest responded by saying that is a “very broad brushed thing to say about doctors.”

Rees-Mogg’s weak comebacks in what was another awkward discussion for him on his own show, were naturally leapt on online. “Politicians should not be stashing cash offshore to avoid UK tax. That way we could afford to pay doctors properly,” wrote one Twitter user.

Another alluded to the infamous Vote Leave bus that promised to fund the NHS instead of sending £350 million a week to the EU, writing:

“You’re a Brexiteer aren’t you, Jacob? We’ve got loads of cash to pay the NHS staff properly, right?”

Fictional political correspondent Jonathan Pie joined the discussion, suggesting the Tory politician/GB News presenter’s ‘doctors should not strike’ comment should be doctors “shouldn’t *have* to strike.”

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

Image credit: YouTube screengrab

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