Tory pledge to build 40 ‘new’ hospitals lies in tatters

'Another of Johnson’s lies in the 2019 election exposed'

Remember the Tory election pledge to build 40 new hospitals? It formed a key part of Boris Johnson’s manifesto promise to the electorate in 2019 and has been beset with controversy ever since.

The promise to build 40 new hospitals now lies in tatters, with one MP highlighting how the pledge was a reflection of just how deceitful the 2019 Tory election campaign was.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay is due to announce a major delay to the project, with the delivery of 40 new hospitals due to be pushed back until after 2030. In 2019, Johnson had pledged to build 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years.

Barclay is reported to be fearing a backlash from Tory MPs who had been hoping they could use the new hospitals as evidence of their commitment to the “levelling up” agenda in the run up to the next election.

The Guardian reports that Barclay will instead ‘commit to prioritising five hospitals where roofs and ceilings are most at risk of sudden collapse because they are made from reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)’.

When Johnson initially announced his plan to build 40 new hospitals, he was accused of making a misleading claim as the bulk of the projects involved rebuilding of existing hospitals or consolidation.

Reacting to the news that the Tory promise of building 40 new hospitals is likely to be delayed yet further, LFF columnist Prem Sikka tweeted: “Tory Govt to formally abandon/delay 2019 pledge to build 40 new hospitals in England – 8 were already planned.

“2 constructed, 5 under construction, work not started on 33. 7.3m await hospital appointment.

“Govt hands tax cuts to corporations/rich.”

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: “Another of Johnson’s lies in the 2019 election exposed. There has never been an election in this country so profoundly based upon lies & smears. It shows how far the Tory party has degenerated that so many Tories want to bring the liar back.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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