Thursday, January 20, 2022

PM is too ‘busy’ by Partygate to fix the NHS, says Keir Starmer

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Boris Johnson can’t solve the NHS’ woes because the Partygate scandal has rendered him ‘unable to lead’, Sir Keir Starmer will say.

The Labor leader is preparing to accuse the Prime Minister of having lost his authority and being “too busy defending his rule-breaking” to tackle the huge challenges facing the health service.

Mr Johnson is fighting to save his prime ministerial post after admitting attending a ‘bring your own boze’ event in May 2020, with further reports he left drinks at No 10 and Whitehall during the pandemic.

On Saturday, in a speech at the Fabian Society conference, Sir Keir will lay out his “personal crusade” for NHS reform, accusing the Conservatives of leaving the health service in a “critical” state.

“Instead of focusing on getting through the pandemic and cutting waiting lists, this complacent Tory party is instead fighting over a leader they should have known from the start was unfit for office,” he will expected to say.

The Labor leader will add: “We are witnessing the broken spectacle of a Prime Minister mired in fraud and deceit, unable to lead.”

Speaking on his ‘personal crusade’ for the NHS, Keir Starmer is said to have said: ‘I spent a lot of time as a kid visiting my mum in hospital. I have never forgotten my mother’s care, the respect with which she was treated. I want that level of care for everyone.”

The opposition leader will use his Fabian speech to outline his vision of a ‘Better Health Contract’ under a Labor government – with a promise to shift healthcare towards prevention to reflect Britain’s aging society, party officials say.

Sir Keir will also pledge that the next Labor government will treat mental health “as seriously as physical health”.

At its party conference last September, Labor pledged to hire more than 8,500 mental health professionals to support a million more people each year, with a pledge to provide mental health support in less than a month.

The Labor leader again called for Mr Johnson to resign after Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace for leaving parties at No 10 the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last April.

“It shows how seriously Boris Johnson was belittling the Prime Minister’s office,” Sir Keir said. “An apology is not the only thing the Prime Minister should be offering the Palace today. Boris Johnson should do the right thing and resign.”

The latest YouGov poll gave Labor an 11-point lead over the Conservatives, the widest the company has recorded since 2013.

A separate Savanta poll for LatestPageNews found that 70 per cent of voters want Mr Johnson to step down – a record number.

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