'Lurching From Crisis To Crisis': Minister Left Red-Faced As Government Accused Of Inaction

Even Andrea Leadsom admitted that the point was a "very fair challenge".
Andrea Leadsom was left red-faced on Question Time last night
Andrea Leadsom was left red-faced on Question Time last night
Question Time

Andrea Leadsom went up to bat for the government on BBC Question Time last night – and was promptly called out over the Conservatives’ response to various crises.

Addressing the health minister, an audience member said: “Andrea, you speak so boldly about the wonderful things the Conservatives are doing, but I think a lot of us might be sitting here thinking, ‘what you are rejoicing at is, is what we think is a common obligation for the government to do’.

“There is no point telling us that we’re going to fix the NHS, because the NHS is not a new initiative. What you’re celebrating, we expect you to do. It’s your obligation as government to do that.”

He said what happened during Covid – a reference to the fast rollout of the vaccine, which the government regularly holds up as one of its greatest achievements – was “absolutely marvellous”.

“But what we’re asking is what is beyond that, which is not lurching from crisis to crisis?” He added.

This triggered a round of applause around the room.

The NHS has been at the forefront of the news agenda recently because the six-day junior doctors’ strikes earlier this month meant more than 110,000 appointments had to be rearranged.

Leadsom said that it was a “very fair challenge”.

But, she claimed, that the “dark reality” of the government’s time in office is that there have been two “one-in-100-year crises” recently, referencing the Covid pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Host Fiona Bruce then cut in: “The NHS was suffering before either of those things happened.”

Leadsom responded by blaming the 2008 financial crisis and the Covid lockdowns for the disruption the health service has faced – although, she admitted, “government’s duty is to make life as good as it possibly can for the people.”


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