Rishi Sunak Admits He Has 'Failed' To Meet His NHS Waiting List Pledge

The prime minister said he'd bring them down - they've gone up.
Rishi Sunak made the admission in an interview with Piers Morgan.
Rishi Sunak made the admission in an interview with Piers Morgan.

Rishi Sunak has admitted he has “failed” to meet his key pledge to cut NHS waiting lists.

The prime minister made bringing them down one of his five promises to voters at the start of 2023.

Instead, waiting lists have gone up by around half a million since then.

In an interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, Sunak admitted “we have not made enough progress”.

Morgan then asked him: “You failed on that pledge?”

The PM replied: “Yes, we have.”

Morgan said: “You said, NHS waiting lists will fall. In fact, they are slightly coming down now. But the waiting list is still nearly half a million more than it was at the start of last year. Do you accept that?”

The PM said: “Yes. And we all know the reasons for that and what I would say to people is look we’ve invested record amounts in the NHS, more doctors, more nurses, more scanners.

“All these things mean that the NHS is doing more today than it ever has been. But industrial action has had an impact.”

Junior doctors and consultants have been taking strike action for well over a year, although NHS nurses did agree a settlement with the government.

Sunak also promised to halve inflation, cut debt, grow the economy and stop the small boats carrying asylum seekers across the Channel.

Of the five pledges, only one - halving inflation - has definitely been achieved.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “Rishi Sunak has finally admitted what has been blatantly obvious to everyone else for years – the Conservatives have failed on the NHS.

“Where Sunak has failed, Labour will succeed in getting the NHS back on its feet. We did it before and we will do it again.”

Lib Dem health spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said: “Finally Rishi Sunak has admitted he has failed to cut NHS waiting lists, leaving millions of people waiting for appointments they desperately need.

“For years this Conservative government has driven our NHS services into the ground, leaving local health services struggling to cope. Enough is enough, Sunak needs to reverse his planned real-terms cuts to NHS spending.”


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