SIR Keir Starmer was last night accused of flip-flopping again after he backed privatising bits of the NHS to push down waiting lists.
The Labour boss insisted that “we could do more” to use parts of the private sector capacity to treat NHS patients.
The Labour boss insisted that ‘we could do more’ to use parts of the private sector capacity to treat NHS patients
Waiting lists are soaring after hospitals up and down the country were forced to treat thousands of Covid patients instead, with millions of operations postponed.
Sir Keir told Sky’s Sophy Ridge yesterday: “One of the issues that we’ve looked at is whether or not we’re using the private sector, effectively, a number of people do go as NHS patients to the private sector.
“Our research shows that that’s been underused, and we could do more of it.” But he was grilled on why he promised previously to end outsourcing in the NHS to private firms.
He dropped the manifesto pledge last summer where he admitted that some privatisation in the NHS was “likely to continue”.
And he ducked questions on whether he was changing his tune in order to win the next election.
Tory MP and former minister Brendan Clarke Smith branded it “yet another u-turn from Sir Keir”.
He added: “I’m sure there will be many Labour members who voted for him on the strength of his Corbynite pledges on ending outsourcing, but who will now feel they’ve been given little more than reheated Blairism.
“Only the Conservatives have shown the maturity and pragmatism required to consistently recognise the importance of working together successfully with the private sector, whatever industry that is in.”
A Conservative spokesperson added: “Again and again, Keir Starmer proves the same thing – he’ll say anything if the politics suits him.”
The Labour chief also failed to say whether 1.1 million people arriving in the UK last year was too low or too high.
He would only say: “We’re not gonna get into a numbers game, we need fair rules firmly applied.”
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