Douglas Carswell challenged by Leave voter over broken NHS pledge

Ukip MP claims Vote Leave only ever promised £100m a week – despite £350m a week being at the top of his Twitter profile

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 01 July 2016 18:04
Douglas Carswell challenged over £350m NHS Brexit pledge on live TV

Douglas Carswell has been challenged by a disgruntled Leave voter over the Brexit campaign's NHS pledge.

The unnamed woman said she was “starting to think she’d been played” by the Leave campaign after believing the claim that they could spend £350m a week they were no longer sending to the EU on the NHS.

She told the BBC Question Time panel on Thursday: "One of the reasons that I voted to leave was because of the fact that they were promising more money into the NHS and thinking about it now, probably I’m old enough to know better.

“I shouldn’t have put my trust in someone like Farage.”

Seizing on her comments, Conservative MP and Remain campaigner Sam Gyimah asked Mr Carswell to reconfirm whether he was still saying the £350m was true.

The Ukip MP responded by saying no one had “retreated an inch from the promise” but claimed that they had only said it would by £100m.

When Mr Gyimah pointed out it had been on the side of the Vote Leave bus Mr Carswell claimed it was “£100m more for the NHS, £5.2bn a year”.

But Mr Carswell’s claim was undermined by the fact he still had a picture of the bus with the claim across the top of his Twitter page – as users soon pointed out:

The official Vote Leave campaign has walked back from the claim – which was denounced as untrue by the UK Statistics Authority.

Ukip leader and member of the unofficial Leave.EU campaign, Nigel Farage, also disavowed the claim hours after the result, which saw 52 per cent of voters backing Leave, saying it was a “mistake” for the rival Out campaign to promise it.

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