David Cameron enrages Jeremy Corbyn by invoking memory of NHS founder Nye Bevan

'Nye Bevan would be turning in his grave...'

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 24 February 2016 15:39
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David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn clash over Aneurin Bevan

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was left visibly angry after David Cameron invoked the memory of NHS founder Nye Bevan at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Asked about what the Government was doing to bring down NHS deficits, Mr Cameron said that under the Tories there were “1.9 million more people going to A&E, 1.6 million more operations, 10,700 more doctors, 11,800 more nurses”.

“And I have to say, I think if Nye Bevan was here today he would want a seven-day NHS, because he knew the NHS was for patients up and down our country,” Mr Cameron said.

Raising his voice, Mr Corbyn responded: “Nye Bevan would be turning in his grave if he could see the Prime Minister’s attitude to the NHS.

“He was a man with vision, who wanted a health service for the good of all,” he said.

Mr Corbyn went on with a question from a doctor named Ashraf, who asked about stretching all NHS staff to working across seven days a week, and asked: “Will the Prime Minister reveal how he is going to pay for a seven-day NHS, rather than picking a fight with the junior doctors who want to deliver it?”

During other exchanges at PMQs Mr Corbyn raised the issue of the junior doctors’ strike, accusing the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of basing his arguments on incorrect figures.

A BBC investigation had found that the author of a study cited by Mr Hunt had accused the Health Secretary of using the figures in an “inaccurate” manner before they had been verified.

And in a bizarre series of jibes, the two leaders also traded blows over each other’s mothers.

Mr Corbyn make a joke referencing the fact Mr Cameron’s mother had signed a petition against cuts in her local area – despite the fact her son was implementing them.

The Prime Minister however hit back – claiming that his mother would tell the Labour leader to put on “a proper suit”, to do up his tie, and to “sing the national anthem”.

The put-down was a reference to an episode earlier in Mr Corbyn’s leadership in which he appeared not to sing the national anthem at a remembrance service.

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