Tories keep lying about the NHS, but a new poll shows the truth

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson
Fréa Lockley

A new poll commissioned by campaign group We Own It shows that nearly half the country doesn’t trust Boris Johnson to protect the NHS from future trade deals with the US. But that hasn’t stopped other Tories telling even more lies.

“You and your party have got form”

We Own It commissioned Survation to carry out the poll. It revealed that the UK public:

don’t believe Boris Johnson’s claims that the NHS is not “on the table”. Just 31% of the public believe Boris Johnson is telling the truth, whereas 45% of the public think he is not. This is despite both Boris Johnson and Donald Trump trying to allay concerns about the impact of a trade deal on the NHS.

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The poll also found that:

  • 57% were “very concerned” or “quite concerned” about the impact trade deals with Trump “could have on the NHS”.
  • 71% don’t think the NHS should be included in any future trade deals.
  • The highest number of people (31%) trust Labour to “ensure the NHS is a publicly funded and publicly run institution”. Meanwhile, only 18% trust the Conservatives.

The results are compelling. Jeremy Corbyn pointed to why the public “don’t trust” Johnson or the Conservatives:

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth also backed the poll:

Ellen Lees, campaigns officer at We Own It, said:

This poll shows clearly that the public understand just how big of a threat a US trade deal is to our NHS. And it shows that they’re firmly against the idea that our NHS could be sold off bit by bit to…Trump and American private healthcare giants.

Because the private sector already has a major role in the NHS, it is automatically on the table in a trade deal – no matter what Boris Johnson says. 

Dear Michael Gove…

Since 2010, the NHS has faced near-constant proportional funding cuts. Conservative-led governments have destroyed core services. But although broken, it’s still our NHS, thanks to the incredible staff holding it together. Many people blame the Tories’ underfunding and backdoor privatisation for worsening conditions.

But that didn’t stop Michael Gove wading in with more lies about the NHS and Corbyn:

People tore Gove’s tweet apart:

Lees noted:
We’re glad to hear Michael Gove’s commitment to keep our NHS safe. The problem is, we can’t do that if we sign a trade deal with Donald Trump that sells off our NHS bit by bit.
The only way to protect our NHS from a trade deal is to end privatisation. 
Off the table

In June, both Trump and a US ambassador suggested the NHS would be “on the table” in future US / UK trade deals. And comments came to light from Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings which gave further insight:

Although Johnson later denied this, as this poll shows, few people trust them.

Save our NHS

The NHS isn’t safe.

On 23 October, Conservatives and the DUP voted against Ashworth’s amendment to end NHS privatisation. The Lib Dems abstained.

Tony O’Sullivan, co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public, said:

Legislation to return the NHS wholly to the care and responsibility of public service and ending privatisation is the only cast-iron defence against a Johnson-Trump deal.

Only this will guarantee for our children the future of the NHS as a public service for all.

The Tories won’t stop lying about the NHS. But as this poll shows, people know this, and we all need to work together to save it.

Featured image via ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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