Tories laugh at voters who thought they’d really give £350m a week to the NHS after Brexit

During the EU referendum Vote Leave pledged to repatriate £350m it said was being sent each week to the EU [Image: BBC].

Of course the laughter that greeted Tulip Siddiq was actually intended for those members of the British public who voted ‘Leave’ in the belief that the UK even gives £350 million a week to the European Union, let alone the belief that a Conservative would ever use that money to fund the NHS instead.

Chris Grayling’s claim that the idea of giving £350 million a week to the NHS – as painted along the side of the infamous “Brexit bus” that toured the UK throughout last year’s EU referendum campaign – was merely an “aspiration” is completely false.

Boris Johnson was indeed one of the many Leave supporters who campaigned using the slogan – and never once suggested that the NHS would not receive all £350 million per week, that the UK doesn’t provide that much in any case, or that he and the other campaigners only aspired to use the money in this way.

So, on the day the UK’s unelected prime minister, Theresa May, notified the EU of this country’s intention to leave that organisation, it was entirely appropriate for Tulip Siddiq to ask whether the pledge would be honoured.

The response she received spoke volumes.

Not only was Boris Johnson “smirking” at the British public – the whole Conservative Government, Theresa May included, was laughing at us.

An MP was greeted with laughter from the Government benches after she asked when Theresa May would fulfil Boris Johnson’s Brexit pledge of £350m for the NHS—and accused the Foreign Secretary of “smirking at the British public”.

Labour’s Tulip Siddiq asked whether the Prime Minister would honour the Vote Leave campaign slogan used by prominent Brexiteers including Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, and which was plastered across the now-infamous red bus.

Cabinet minister Chris Grayling later claimed the slogan was merely an “aspiration”.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms Siddiq said: “The Foreign Secretary during the EU referendum campaign urged people to, and I quote, ‘Take back control of huge sums of money, £350m a week, and spend it on our priorities such as the NHS’.

“The Prime Minister will trigger Article 50 today. Can the Prime Minister confirm precisely when she wants to fulfil the promise made by her cabinet colleague, who is sitting on the front bench smirking at the British public?”

Source: Brexit PMQs: Tory MPs laugh as they are asked about Vote Leave’s promise to spend extra £350m on NHS

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14 thoughts on “Tories laugh at voters who thought they’d really give £350m a week to the NHS after Brexit

  1. Justin

    well let’s also make sure that this aspiration is turned into reality otherwise is this not classed as misleading information, then again for the tory it is normalised behaviour, they get so used to lies that they don’t have a reality on truth. They have a minister that spent a million on riot wagons they cannot use, a series of ministers involved in self harm and suicide, hiding under the banner of work is good for you, suggest they look at there own dictatorship called universal credit which sounds like universal sanction, 45 hours looking for a job, get real, 3 pages at a jcp lately 1.5 pages were the same job,leaflets through doors, commission only, got any answers to that one any tory reaing this, you won’t have, your to ignorant.

    so what do we need well here are some aspirations

    accountable minister or ex-mayors. ie spend a million of public money on something you cannot use then face scrutiny and if necessary investigation.

    have a policy that causes self harm and ignore coroner’s reccomendations after suicide, be held accountable in a court of law.

    break safeguarding regulations, be reported for misconduct and face being barred from the role

    fiddle or make spurrious expenses claims go to jail, 30 pounds for a breakfast!!! really
    get rid of subsidised food and drink at Hop, they rich enough pay the price everyone else does
    2nd homes, certainly owned by the taxpayer, shared rooms with other ministers, once your leave politics that property is available or sold.

    get rid of the house of parliament wine cellar. way to expensive to keep, sell it of-go to bargain booze.

    five star hotels no more – travel lodge or b and b

    2nd class travel and flight on ryanair,easyjet etc, coaches are cheaper than trains, travel on coaches

    cut down on expenses

    cut down on signing in for ten minutes and claiming a whole days expenses, break the expenses into a hourly figure

    pay cut down by thirty percent, there to highly paid anyway.

    nominations for lords to be for the correct reasons. a hairdresser really!!!

    get rid of government advisors- to many of them,

    ministers and advisors having qualifications and experience appropriate to the role, recruitment for these positions by external interview panels with experts and for a trial period,if not experienced then have to get experience before the role

    no more second jobs,donations towards campaigns etc, and when you leave as a minister or mp wherever you go,no using your position to influence policy, once ou of politics finished with politics

    aspire that Grayling and co,that is the real definition of taking back control by making you more accountable,something that you are not doing

  2. creatorsnotconsumers

    Because they know they will never be held accountable for their actions… because they know that they’ll never have to face the people they betray… because they know that a life of privilege is theirs… because they know that they will never know want or lack… because they know that they can lie, cheat and steal with impunity… because they are corrupt… they laugh at us.

  3. Rik

    I dont know much about politics but why are mp,s and especialy the PM allowed to lie in the hoc and get away with it?? this i just cannot understand… and why can’t JC call her a lying b&@#h in the hous & tell her that so many poor souls have died or committed suicide because of ids & their so called austerity ??
    I dont usually post on here but I’m always in the background
    Thanks Mike for all tbe hard work and late hours
    that you have put into this blog…im a night owl so i know that your alwayz beavering away
    Thanks very much

  4. NMac

    One of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated upon a whole nation, by a bunch of cheap and nasty fraudsters. Time we have a few of these loathsome people put before the Courts for election expenses fraud. Tory Party = Fraud, Fraud, and yet more Fraud.

    1. Justin

      totally agree and it is high time that the lying party should be held to account for there actions,they get away with this to many times and to often and again it is the Grayling model, who with his other counterpart should be answering misconduct charges, though somehow they got away with that,he and the elks like him shouldlface trial and Barllinnie is a nice place for such a lovely person.

  5. John Spencer-Davis

    This makes me angrier than almost anything else. In my opinion, those members of the Government (past and present) who campaigned for Brexit should either be required to give £350m extra a week to the NHS or be prosecuted and jailed for fraud.

    I wonder how many people voted for Brexit because of this outright lie.

    1. Justin

      The more I see this bus the more i get angry as well, it looks like a roadie tour bus, we should name it fist pumping smith and the leering lying morris dancers, we need a few extra, banking fraud, read all about it george, rent a bike boris, what a goon show, how frightening that this bunch think they can run a country.

  6. Barry Davies

    Well they are the minority that the tories allegedly laughed at, the ones who still voted to remain and keep sending money to the eu never to be seen again for no benefit to the people who payed the tax to supply have no real argument.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, Barry, you have no real argument. Much of the money we send to the EU comes back to us, to be used on EU-funded schemes. We have an EU rebate, so much of the money you claim is sent to the EU never actually leaves the UK. We benefit from EU trading conditions, as my article last year made perfectly clear, and we benefit from the economic contribution of EU migrants.
      The UK is a net beneficiary of EU membership. It is you who have no argument.

  7. Robert Stirrups

    Why can’t we just say that leaving the EU was just an aspiration as well then, and forget this whole nonsense? #lateralthinking

  8. Zippi

    I’ll tell you what I remember. I remember watching countless interviews and debates, throughout the entire run-up to the referendum and I recall Chris Grayling, in particular, on Newsnight, I think it was, explaining about the money that was sent, some of which came back, as has been stated by others. This was not the only occasion on which this was explained, of the claim was questioned throughout the campaign. That’s one thing. Also, that all important word, which seemed to have been omitted from much of the media reporting, throughout the campaigns, with regard to claims and assertions from BOTH sides: could. The quote above says, ‘Take back control of huge sums of money, £350m a week, and spend it on our priorities such as the NHS’. Where does it say that all £350m a week will be spent on the N.H.S., or, in fact, any of it? Whatever monies we no longer send to the E.U. are for the government of the day to decide on how it is spent. The £eave Campaign was and is not government and was in no position to make any promises, or commitments, only to paint a possible future, to persuade people to support its vision, just like the Remain campaign. We were asked, in the referendum, about one thing; our membership of the European Union, not our budget. Since when were the people of this nation ever consulted about how our money is spent?
    Also, I find it bemusing that, suddenly, politicians were trustworthy; up until then, they were all liars, out for themselves, defrauding the public etc. What changed and when? How is it that, suddenly, they were to be believed?
    We can go on about this until the cows come home but the future was always unwritten and people on both sides of the argument failed to do enough, if any research; the debates focused on the wrong things, in my opinion so, I am not certain that the result would have been any different. Call-me-Dave told us that there could be no changing our mind (I still say that he should be in prison for treason) and I told people, over and over, that we can’t jump back into the plane so, be sure of what you are voting for.
    We, as a nation, were asked to make a decision, as we were 40+ years since; this time, the answer was the opposite. We have to be positive and make this work. We know that £abour’s spending priorities would be different so, it is possible that £350m a week could be spent on the N.H.S. The Tories treat the electorate with contempt and always have; how they keep getting into power astonishes me. Only time will tell how our departure from the E.U. will affect us; it could, in the long run, be a good thing, we don’t know but we have to believe that it will be, or we are condemning ourselves to a bleak future, before we have even set foot through the door.

    1. John Spencer-Davis

      “The quote above says, ‘Take back control of huge sums of money, £350m a week, and spend it on our priorities such as the NHS’. Where does it say that all £350m a week will be spent on the N.H.S., or, in fact, any of it?”

      You would like evidence that the Vote Leave campaign said they would spend £350m weekly on the NHS, Zippi? Here it is.

      https://www.quora.com/What-exactly-did-the-Leave-proponents-promise-regarding-the-%C2%A3350-million-per-week

      1. Zippi

        I concede that point, on that evidence, however, I reiterate that a campaign cannot make promises, it is for government to decide how the money is spent, or not.

  9. Justin

    why do we have to listen to a bunch of ignorant tories or is that an aspiration that is forced on us daily, we need to bring current parliament inline with modern laws, responsibility and accountability,that way when the likes of dwp ministers ignore coroner’s recomendations and advisors come up with policies that don’t work because there simply not qualified to understand what they are doing, then a misconduct charge can be applied, that should then go to a judge and if necessary a jury and if the is a verdict then jail them, how does that sound for a democratic process Theresa, we could start by getting all the Tory Mp’s and any of the other’s that were in the picture with the pretty red bus of lies and have them explain what they meant by a aspiration,most noticeably the phrase aspiration comes from a ex dwp minister, who are the same bunch that felt that someone being sanctioned was a aspiration.

    so come on aspire us all by explaining in real world why you had a blatant lie on something that you used, I won’t bother waiting as tory is so use to lying nowadays that they can no longer tell the difference between reality and themselves

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