Labour have today hit out at the Government’s treatment of junior doctors in the lead up to today’s strike, which the party is supporting.
Jeremy Corbyn today hit out at the “appalling” treatment of the striking NHS England workers, including attempts to “smear them in the press”, which he says has led directly to the decision to take industrial action today. He added that “everybody in Britain” is “grateful for the hard work” junior doctors carry out.
Shadow Health minister Justin Madders said that Jeremy Hunt had left junior doctors “with no choice but to take this action” – saying that if anyone is inconvenienced by the strike, they should “blame Jeremy Hunt”.
It is reportedly the first strike the Labour Party has ever wholeheartedly supported with an official party line. (If you have a correction to this, do get in touch.)
In a statement on his Facebook page, Jeremy Corbyn said:
“Everybody in Britain recognises and is grateful for the hard work and long hours put in by junior doctors. Their treatment by this Government has been nothing short of appalling, leading to the strike action in our NHS today.
“No NHS worker takes lightly the decision to strike, but the blame must be laid at the door of this Government for the way it has treated doctors and now seeks to smear them in the press. It is time for this Government to apologise to junior doctors and negotiate a fair deal that gets our NHS working again.”
Shadow Health minister Justin Madders said:
“Nobody wanted to see today’s industrial action take place, not least junior doctors.
“However, Jeremy Hunt choose to pick a fight with the very people who keep our NHS running, and he has left them with no choice but to take this action. Junior doctors don’t want to become embroiled in a political dispute but the Government’s refusal to listen to their concerns has led to this point.
“Any patient who has had their operation cancelled or appointment postponed today should be clear – don’t blame the junior doctors, blame Jeremy Hunt.”