Nick Ferrari Slams Steve Barclay Over Tory NHS Record: 'For The Love Of God What Have You Been Doing?'

The health secretary was asked why he is "unpopular" with health staff.
Nick Ferrari clashes with Steve Barclay
Nick Ferrari clashes with Steve Barclay

Steve Barclay was left reeling over the Tories’ record on the NHS after a bruising clash with Nick Ferrari.

The LBC presenter asked the health secretary “what, for the love of God, has your party been doing” as he listed the government’s failures.

The pair clashed as ambulance workers again went on strike as part of the ongoing pay dispute between ministers and NHS staff.

Ferrari said: “This is, excluding the pandemic, the worst year since 1951, and figures published yesterday showed the third consecutive week of more than 1,000 excess deaths in England and Wales and showed last year was one of the highest death tolls in Britain ever recorded - on the Conservative watch.

“What, for the love of God, has your party been doing for the last 13 years with the NHS?”

Barclay said the government “doesn’t accept” those figures and were examining them.

He added: “Across Europe there is a very similar debate. It’s something I’ve been discussing with the chief medical officer and others in terms of as a consequence of the pandemic, we know people had treatment delayed.

“That has an impact in terms of excess mortality and that is something that’s very complicated in terms of getting to the core causes.”

The minister also denied that he was “part of the problem” over the pay dispute, given his past role as chief secretary to the Treasury.

He said: “As chief secretary your role is to look at finance across government and traditionally that is a challenging role.

“My job is to make the case for the NHS, to make the case for health workers, and that is what I am doing.”

Ferrari then asked: “Is it your stewardship of the purse strings which makes you unpopular?”

Barclay replied: “A chief secretary by their nature often has to be the one pointing out what is affordable to the wider economy, I don’t think that is any secret.”


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