NEWS

Junior Doctors Strike: Jeremy Hunt Awkwardly Avoids Reporter's Questions On Contracts

Cringe.

06/04/2016 11:24

Jeremy Hunt has dodged calls to answer why he won't negotiate with junior doctors over new pay and working conditions.

The health secretary, who imposed a new contract on England's 55,000 junior doctors seven weeks ago, this morning refused to be drawn on why he would not re-enter negotiations with aggrieved NHS staff. 

After over 110,000 people signed a petition calling on Hunt to resume "meaningful contract negotiations", journalists this morning doorstepped the minister to ask why he was refusing to meet again with doctors' union the British Medical Association. 

Frank Augstein/AP
Junior doctors show banners as they start a 48-hour strike at the St Thomas Hospital in London today

"He's repeatedly refused to speak to LBC on the matter," the radio station's Charlotte Wright told listeners today, after doorstepping the health secretary outside his London home.

She asked him three times why he was refusing to negotiate with the BMA, but Hunt ignored her questions and responded simply: "Good morning, thank you very much."

Hear the exchange below

 

The health secretary has previously evaded questioning over the long-running dispute with doctors, having been previously accused of an “affront” to Parliament when a junior minister was sent to defend the Government and face MPs over questions about the junior doctors’ strike in February.

The health secretary has previously evaded questioning over the long-running dispute with doctors, having been previously accused of an “affront” to Parliament when a junior minister was sent to defend the Government and face MPs over questions about the junior doctors’ strike in February.

.
Minister Ben Gummer was put up to answer MPs' questions instead of Hunt

Labour MPs were angered over Hunt's “no-show” after an urgent question was called in the House of Commons ahead of a 24-hour strike.

Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne wondered aloud “where is he?” when it emerged Ben Gummer, one of Hunt's ministerial juniors, would be responding to MPs. 

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS