Wednesday 10 March 2021 / 4:24 PM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Labour calls on Prime Minister to set the record straight on NHS funding vote

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to correct the record on votes on the NHS Funding Act.

The House did not take a vote on the second or third readings of the Bill and Labour did not vote against the Bill – despite Boris Johnson falsely claiming otherwise during Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, also refused on multiple occasions to confirm whether Boris Johnson accepted that he was wrong to say that Labour voted against an NHS pay rise.

 

Full text of Jonathan Ashworth’s letter to the Prime Minister

 Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you to correct the record on votes on the NHS Funding Act 2020.

At Prime Ministers’ Questions today, with reference to the NHS Long Term Plan planning documents, you responded to the Leader of the Opposition to say:

“Mr Speaker, he voted against the document in question, to crown the absurdity of his point.”

However, at both second and third reading the House did not divide to vote on this Bill. Indeed, at the time of Second Reading I said:

“We will not divide the House tonight, but instead seek to amend the Bill.”

To say that Labour voted against this Bill is therefore incorrect. At all times in the debate, Labour attempted to secure a greater financial settlement for the NHS in order to improve patient care.

I was surprised to hear that this afternoon your Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, refused around 20 times to confirm whether you accept that you were wrong to say that Labour voted against an NHS pay rise.

I would be grateful if you could correct the record on this.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Ashworth MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care