What a silly Hunt! Health secretary ridiculed for claiming Tories set up the NHS

No, Jeremy Hunt. Tories voted against the creation of the National Health Service – 22 times. You have no right to claim credit for it.

But, amazingly, that’s what the current Health Secretary has done.

Perhaps he thinks claiming credit for its creation means he can go on to say, “We’ll do what we like with it!” and expect no criticism.

Tough.

 

Here he is, making his ridiculous assertion:

And here’s the Independent‘s take on the story:

Jeremy Hunt has been ridiculed after making the “laughable” claim that the creation of the NHS was down to Tory support, despite the Conservatives voting against is passage over a dozen times in Parliament.

Igniting a row with Labour, the Health Secretary told delegates at the Tory conference in Manchester that the creation of Britain’s health service was down to the Conservative minister Sir Henry Willink, who had published a white paper preparing the ground for a health service in 1944 – four years before the NHS was launched.

“Nye Bevan [Labour’s then-health minister] deserves credit for founding the NHS in 1948,” the Health Secretary said. “But that wasn’t him or indeed any Labour minister.”

“That was the Conservative health minister in 1944, Sir Henry Willink, whose white paper announced the setting up of the NHS,” he continued. “He did it with cross-party support.”

Drivel.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Jeremy Hunt’s claim the Tories created the NHS is laughable. The Tories fought it tooth and nail all the way through Parliament on a three-line whip. In fact they voted against the creation of the NHS 22 times including at the third reading.

“Over the last 70 years, the Tories have under-funded and tried to sell off the NHS. Labour governments have always stepped in to fully fund and rebuild the NHS. And so it will again fall to the next Labour government to give the NHS the funding it needs and rebuild it to deliver the quality world class health service every patient deserves.”

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine added to was “astonishing” that Mr Hunt has the gall to claim a Conservative minister was responsible for setting up the NHS, then in the next breath says the health service should be above party politics.

Source: Jeremy Hunt ridiculed for claiming Tories ‘set up’ the NHS


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14 thoughts on “What a silly Hunt! Health secretary ridiculed for claiming Tories set up the NHS

  1. STEVEN McGuire

    These parasites are so out of touch Time to go tories out The next thing will be Boris johnstone was a brain surgeon

  2. Barry Davies

    To be fair labour under bliar brune was as bad for privatising the NHS hopefully the labour party won’t allow such centre rich politicians to be in charge again.

  3. Zippi

    It would appear that Sir Henry Willink did, indeed, compose a White Paper entitled a National Health Service, in 1944 however it is not what WE understand to be a National Health Service! After finding the shocking revelation on the ever-accurate Wikipedia, I did some further digging and found this: https://www.sochealth.co.uk/national-health-service/the-sma-and-the-foundation-of-the-national-health-service-dr-leslie-hilliard-1980/mr-willinks-lost-opportunity-mpu-april-1944/ This is the kind of National Health Service of which Jeremy Hunt would be proud!

  4. Liam

    The Beveridge report did have the support of tories and labour during the war. A flat rate contribution for services. So more of a coalition idea which labour then pushed through when they got power and and implemented a few years later, when the country could afford it.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They implemented it at their earliest opportunity; the country could always afford it.
      Debt was 250 per cent of GDP at the time.
      Whatever the situation during the war, Tories voted against the NHS 22 times.

  5. Christine Bergin

    Book by Chris Renwick (Bread for All) traces the developement of our welfare system from the Poor Laws of 1600s through to the tories trying to sideline Beveridge by giving him an impossible task which took several years. and finally produced oour welfare system. It seems the Tory mindset fought it every step of the way but it became refined into a well integrated system that was intgrated , econonical and very successful. So of cours the tories had to monetise it.

  6. jcashbyblog

    I know Hunt is serial liar; but you have not denied his statement that the creation of Britain’s health service was down to the Conservative minister Sir Henry Willink, who had published a white paper preparing the ground for a health service in 1944 – four years before the NHS was launched.
    So, I must assume it is true. But the NHS Act itself was passed in 1946, so it must have been pretty well-thought through by then.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, it isn’t true. The NHS arose from the Beveridge Report in 1942.
      He was a Liberal, but Labour took up his idea and ran with it.
      The Conservative Party opposed the creation of the NHS bitterly.

  7. NMac

    I don’t think this is an error or slip of the tongue. Hunt is a thoroughly dishonest and corrupt individual and I believe he said this deliberately knowing that there are many who will actually believe his barefaced lies.

  8. Paul Rutherford

    There was indeed a White Paper produced by Willink, but it was a ‘compromise’, which would have meant that doctors [the health service], remained a PRIVATISED, profit-making group… so NOT a ‘free’ health service at all!

    It was the Beveridge Report which laid the foundation and the tories always intended to have *a* health service, just not a *free* one. See here for brief rundown… http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/themes/beveridge-bevan.htm

  9. hugosmum70

    some of the comments on that tweet make my blood boil……….example:- the poor are better off now than ever before…………… so why is it we have thousands having to go to food banks/soup kitchens etc? so many thousands dying through starvation that cant access a food bank and even if they could they only get 3 weeks food(or what passes for 3 weeks worth…….. where do the homeless cook food? where do they keep it for so long? how much of it gets confiscated by police supposedly trying to stop vagrancy?

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