Theresa May faces another accusation of misleading MPs today after she “incorrectly” claimed a migrant had been offered lifesaving cancer treatment on the NHS.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked May if Albert Thompson, who has lived in the UK for 44 years, would be getting the medical care he requires after being initially refused by hospital bosses.
The Prime Minister claimed Mr Thompson “will be getting the treatment he needs” after clinicians looked into his case.
But a few hours after the debate, Mr Thompson’s MP, Labour’s Chuka Umunna, told Parliament that was “incorrect”.
May already faces an accusation of misleading Parliament over the Windrush fiasco after she suggested Labour had junked migrants’ identity documents.
Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, Umunna said: “In the exchanges earlier in this place the Prime Minister said that Mr Thompson will be receiving the NHS treatment he needs.
“That is incorrect.
“He needs radiotherapy treatment but my constituent hasn’t received his treatment and if there are any plans that have been made for him to get this treatment then he has certainly not been informed of it.
“That is a fact and to say otherwise is wrong.”
Umunna added that his constituent – who is using the name Albert Thompson to hide his real identity – is making another application to stay in the UK.
He said: “The Prime Minister needs to commit to that application being processed immediately and at the very least getting indefinite leave to remain so that he can get this treatment, which the Royal Marsden hospital is not prepared to give him unless he can pay upfront or prove his right to residency.
“I’m sure the Prime Minister will not want to have misled the House and will want to come here and correct the record.”
Referring to Umunna’s point of order, a Downing Street spokesman said: “This is something that NHS England and the Royal Marsden are looking into. We don’t want to comment in further detail about someone’s care at this point.”
Asked if the PM would return to Parliament to correct the record, if she was found to have inadvertently misled Parliament, he replied: “I’ve no reason to believe that’s the case and stand by what the PM said.”
Mr Thompson’s case was first raised by Corbyn at PMQs on March 14.
The Labour leader asked May to explain “how can it be possible for someone to live and work in this country and pay their taxes, and then be denied access to the NHS for lifesaving cancer treatment?”
He added the man in question “has lived in this country for 44 years, has worked and paid his taxes.”
At PMQs today, Corbyn said the PM “brushed off” the case, and asked: “Will she say what she will now do to ensure that Mr Thompson gets the cancer treatment he urgently needs and is entitled to?”
May replied: “It was not brushed off. The Home Office has been in contact with Mr Thompson’s representatives. First of all, I want to make one point very clear: no urgent treatment should be withheld by the NHS, regardless of ability or willingness to pay.
She added: “Clinicians have been looking at Mr Thompson’s case and he will be receiving the treatment he needs.”