Prime Minister Theresa May will attempt to boost her failing government with a cabinet reshuffle on 8 January. A quarter of her cabinet are expected to be moved or sacked. And there are many people up and down the country hoping that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is one of them.
There are 1.3 million NHS staff praying for the same result for Jeremy Hunt in the cabinet reshuffle
Please RT if you are right behind them pic.twitter.com/pEO16dKEoB
— NHS Million (@NHSMillion) January 7, 2018
A record of failure
Hunt became Health Secretary in 2012. Since then, he has repeatedly clashed with NHS staff and overseen a series of crises. At present, the NHS endures mass closures, cancelled operations and patients forced to lie on floors. The original government position was to deny this. On 4 January, Hunt finally admitted it. Anguished hospital staff have made their feelings clear.
Patients sleeping on NHS hospital floors.
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan #NHSLove #FBPE (@DancingTheMind) January 5, 2018
Indications suggest those hoping for an end to Hunt’s tenure as Health Secretary will get their wish. But in a controversial move, Prime Minister Theresa May looks set to promote him to Deputy Prime Minister, replacing Damian Green.
4 Tory Newspapers report that Jeremy Hunt is to be promoted to Deputy Prime Minister by Theresa May as a reward, and recognition, for the amazing job he done with NHS England.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) January 6, 2018
Many have pointed out that rewarding a Health Secretary for bringing the NHS to its knees is a strange decision.
Basically you can do a terrible job, obliterate the NHS and still be considered for a promotion. Tory priorities on the NHS have never been more clear. Pat on the back for draining resources and allowing back-door privatisation https://t.co/j6M11zXPjs
— Shehab Khan (@ShehabKhan) January 8, 2018
I've just come out of A&E after 7 hours with s mate of mine, what i saw was akin to a war zone people on trollies nurse's running around exhausted, doctor's being so nice in the face of adversity etc, the man responsible for this Jeremy Hunt is going to be promoted god help us.
— Loz Argyle (@ArgyleLoz) January 7, 2018
The promotion, if it comes, appears to vindicate those who believe Tory austerity policies have been a process of ‘privatisation by the back door’.
Make absolutely no mistake. People talk about .@theresa_may & .@jeremy_hunt being in “denial” on NHS matters. There is nothing subconscious about their actions.
The underfunding of NHS is deliberate, sustained & there is an end goal.
The NHS does not fit their ideology. #marr
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan #NHSLove #FBPE (@DancingTheMind) January 7, 2018
After all, in 2005 Hunt co-authored a book with eventual UKIP MP Douglas Carswell and others, called Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party. This argued for privatisation of the NHS.
Jeremy Hunt, our Health Secretary, co-wrote a book calling for the privatisation of our NHS
— NHS Million (@NHSMillion) December 21, 2017
Those hoping for a better future for our health service look set to be disappointed. Favourite to replace Hunt is former nurse Anne Milton. While the appointment of someone with hospital experience seems sensible, some are worried about Milton’s links. Her husband, Graham Henderson, is listed as a senior executive at Richard Branson’s Virgin Care. Virgin Care has been aggressively pursuing NHS contracts in recent years.
Jeremy Hunt wrote a book about privatising the NHS
Anne Milton is married to a Director at Virgin Care
There must be a Tory SOMEWHERE that isn’t interested in private healthcare?
— NHS Million (@NHSMillion) January 8, 2018
Quite simply, while the Tories cling on to power, our National Health Service remains in grave danger.
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Featured image via screengrab