Watch Jeremy Hunt laugh when asked if Brexit will ensure more funding for the NHS [VIDEO]

Jeremy Hunt was plastered across television screens and radio airwaves on the morning of 1 September following developments in the junior doctors’ dispute. In one interview, he was asked about whether Vote Leave’s pledge to spend £350m on the NHS after Brexit had been discussed at a recent cabinet meeting. His reaction was to laugh. That’s right, he chuckled at the very prospect.

Hunt was interviewed on Good Morning Britain (GMB) in light of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) announcement that a five-day junior doctors strike will take place in September.

Contract still in chaos

In July, junior doctors voted to reject the government’s current new contract offer. A battle has been raging since 2015 between the Conservative government and health professionals over the terms of the contract. The government says the contract changes are necessary to fulfil its manifesto pledge to create a 7-day NHS.

Many junior doctors believe the contract is “completely unsafe” and the impact will be that “patients will suffer”. Yet the government has promised to impose the contract regardless, despite the fact that Hunt’s own Department of Health (DH) has concluded that it poses multiple “risks”.

Hunt cracks up on live television

One of those “risks” identified by the DH is that the NHS does not have enough funding to fulfil the 7-day pledge.

GMB presenter Ranvir Singh offered up a solution to this dilemma:

Read on...

What might help is the £350m promised from the Brexit camp that would go straight to the NHS. There was a cabinet meeting at Chequers yesterday, presumably you were there, did Boris apologise for that? Or did he cough up where this money might be coming from to help you out?

After he managed to suppress a smile, Hunt responded:

Well, we are just at the start of the process of the negotiations for leaving the European Union… We haven’t left the EU yet. We are going to be leaving the EU, and obviously when we do – if that released money for, extra money for, the NHS – no one would be more thrilled than me. But that is some way off…

By the time Hunt reached the end of his final sentence, his amusement at the question had taken complete hold. The significance of such a reaction was not lost on Ranvir, who commented:

Yeah, the fact that you’re scoffing at the very idea of it tells us more than what you’re saying in many ways

That NHS pledge

£350m a week would go a long way to resolving the current financial woes of the NHS. But as was made clear by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage the day after the referendum, that pledge was merely a gimmick. It was a convincer, based on bogus statistics, with the sole aim of enticing people to vote Leave.

The idea that those battling for Brexit were ever going to go through with it is laughable. As Hunt has just perfectly illustrated.

But the fact that Hunt feels at ease openly mocking what would be a partial solution to the problems of the very department he controls at least lays something to rest.

In another of his interviews on 1 September, Hunt compared himself to Nye Bevan, the founder of the NHS. But as many commentators have noted, there is a fundamental difference between the two. One created the National Health Service. The other is bringing the UK’s treasured institution to the brink of destruction.

And the former would certainly not scoff at millions of pounds being fed into the NHS to pull it back from that cliff edge.

Get Involved!

Sign the NHS Reinstatement Bill petition, which would reverse the dismantling of the NHS

– Follow the developments in the #JuniorDoctorsStrike on Twitter.

Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via GMB/Youtube

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed