Leaders Debate: Audience boos Rishi Sunak as he blames striking NHS workers for waiting list rises

Excruciating exchange as Sunak is confronted over rising NHS waiting lists

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak was grilled by Beth Rigby about the Tory Party’s dire record on NHS waiting lists and, in an excruciating exchange, he was forced to confront the fact that he failed on his pledge to reduce the waiting lists.

“Yes it has”, Sunak said about waiting lists rising, however he insisted it was going down, but not before taking a dig at striking NHS doctors.

“It’s now going down, the plan is working, we’ve resolved the industrial action,” Sunak said. 

He went on to say: “You had a question from a junior doctor earlier.. I think everyone knows the impact the industrial action has had”.

Following this statement audible groans and loud boos could be heard from the audience. 

“So it’s the doctor’s fault,” Rigby said. 

Rishi Sunak looked uncomfortable however went on to double down on his statement, saying that since resolving most of the industrial disputes, “what you’re now seeing is numbers coming down”.

To which Rigby replied: “I might have not done brilliantly at maths at school but I know that 7.2m to 7.5m is going up.”

Her response received laughter and applause from the audience.

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