Jeremy Hunt was today accused by Piers Morgan of allowing the NHS to return to the “dark ages” during a tense live TV interview.
The health secretary is under fire after the The Red Cross warned of a “humanitarian crisis” in the NHS this winter - a description rejected by NHS England
Theresa May has been challenged to announce immediate action to address the problem, with Labour calling for a £700 million emergency cash injection.
“If you invite me on to your programme you have to let me answer the question,” he told Morgan during one tense exchange.
“Perhaps it would help if I told you what we were doing: We’re putting over £4bn into the NHS, which will be our top priority, and we need to have an honest discussion with the public.”
But Morgan insisted the NHS appeared to be “going back to the dark ages”. He asked the health secretary: “How can this be happening in modern Britain?”
Hunt is due to make a statement to the House of Commons on the health service later today.
A war of words has broken out between the British Red Cross, health officials and Tory MPs over the charity’s claim that there was a “humanitarian crisis” in England.
The charity’s chief executive, Mike Adamson, said extra cash was needed for health and social care to make the system sustainable.
“The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country,” he said.
“We have been called in to support the NHS and help get people home from hospital and free up much-needed beds.”
But Keith Willett, director of acute care for NHS England, said that “on the international scale of a humanitarian crisis, I do not think the NHS is at that point”.
You’ve got people dying on trollies Piers Morgan tackles Jeremy Hunt