James O'Brien Slams 'Hogwash' Attack On Striking Junior Doctors After Boris Johnson's 'Corbynite' Comment

11/01/2016 20:20 | Updated 11 January 2016
LBC

James O'Brien has launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson, accusing the Mayor of London of treating the public with "even more contempt than usual" over claims striking junior doctors would undermine a seven-day NHS.

The LBC host branded Johnson's rhetoric "hogwash", saying it was unfair of him to brand all 98% of British Medical Association members who voted for industrial action as "communists in disguise".

He was responding to the Uxbridge MP's latest column for the Daily Telegraph, which hinted heavily that those who felt unfairly treated by health secretary Jeremy Hunt had a left-wing agenda.

"It is surely not irrelevant that the doctors’ leadership – the BMA council – would appear to be heavily infiltrated by people who are not just Labour voters but who regard Jeremy Corbyn as the messiah," Johnson wrote.

junior doctors

Doctors protest the changes to their contract

"It strikes me that at least some of these people are more interested in politics than their patients."

"The BMA leadership is in the grip of advanced Corbynitis. They need to get back round the table," he added.

But speaking up for junior doctors, who are protesting over forced changes to their contract that they claim will effectively be a pay cut, O'Brien hit back at Johnson and Hunt in his blistering analysis on Monday.

"When it comes to striking tube workers, Boris makes great play about how important it is to have a turnout and a mandate - much bigger than anything he's ever secured in pursuit of political office," the LBC host began.

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Junior Doctors' Protest

"But he thinks that if you go on strike you should have over 50% turnout and over of the 50% vote.

"The turnout and the mandate is about as close to unanimous as you will see outside North Korea..."

"Part of me wonders whether Boris Johnson is treating us with even more contempt than usual when he thinks he will be able to persuade the readers of the Daily Telegraph and beyond that junior doctors are somehow Marxists in disguise who've been caught up in a Jeremy Corbyn-flavoured passion for industrial action...

"That's just cobblers - it's not a word I use often but I use it advisedly. Absolute hogwash."

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"'A strike by junior doctors will undermine Jeremy Hunt's plans to create a genuine 7-day NHS'," O'Brien read from Johnson's article.

"Jeremy Hunt strike you as a man you can trust more than almost every doctor in the country?" he responded.

"Then by all means go to him next time you're poorly. I'll stick with the doctors - if that's alright with you."

Hear the impassioned speech below

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