Jonathan Ashworth Says Labour Government Would Scrap Car Parking Charges

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has said that the Labour Party would scrap car parking charges if they form the next Government.

Ashworth said in a statement:

“These car parking charges are a tax on the sick, their families and hard-working NHS staff. A Labour government will totally scrap parking charges, providing free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.”

Car parks at hospitals are mostly already free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but a spokesperson for NHS Providers said in a statement:

“All charges by trusts for parking cover the day-to-day running of car parking at the hospital, with any surplus reinvested back into wider services for patients or improving these facilities.”

Jonathan Ashworth Apologises Over Comments on Jeremy Corbyn

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has apologised to Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, following leaked comments about him. Ashworth had been talking to a friend, Greig Baker, but was unaware that his comments were being taped.

Answering a question on whether Corbyn was a security risk, Ashworth said:

“I don’t know, on the security stuff, I worked in No 10, I think the machine will pretty quickly move to safeguard security, I mean the civil service machine. But it’s not going to happen. I cannot see it happening.”

Corbyn said that the recording was simply “bit of banter between two old friends” and said that he still had full confidence in Ashworth.

Labour MP Ellie Reeves Faces Deselection

Ellie Reeves, the Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge, is facing a deselection challenge from her local constituency Labour Party. Reeves, who is currently pregnant, faces the challenge as she signed a letter calling for Chris Williamson to be deselected.

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of Health, said in a statement:

“My friend Ellie Reeves is a socialist, an ex-trade union lawyer who fought against injustices for working-class people. She’s campaigned against oppression internationally, eg trade unionists in Colombia for years. An excellent MP. Ludicrous no-confidence motion should be binned.”

Boris Johnson Calls for Reforms to be Made to the NHS

Boris Johnson, one of the two remaining candidates in the Conservative Party leadership contest, has said that he believes that the NHS needs both more money and also reform.

Speaking at a private Conservative Party event he said:

“The NHS needs more money but where you are absolutely right is that it needs reform.”

He added that the service was “not getting the kind of support and indeed the kind of changes and management that it needs”.

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said:

“These comments are alarming but unsurprising given the hard right agenda Johnson has been putting forward. His tax plans will benefit the richest, he’s the biggest defender of the bankers who crashed the economy, and he’s been buddying up with Trump to sell off our NHS to US corporations. His comments to Tory party members about his plans for the NHS need to be clarified immediately.”

Labour Warn of Poor NHS Figures in Accident and Emergency

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has warned the Government following the release of NHS statistics which showed worsening figures in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

Ashworth said in a statement:

“Today’s figures reveal an NHS under continued, intense pressure with dismal consequences for patients. We are heading into winter on the back of the worst October on record for A&E and 12 hour waits for hospital admission from the summer onwards being around twice as high as 2017.

What’s more, with over 550,000 patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment, often in pain and distress, ministers cannot continue ducking their responsibilities towards bringing constitutional waiting time standards back under control.

There wasn’t a penny extra for hospitals this winter in the Budget, yet ministers are quickly ratcheting up uncosted promises from the NHS budget over the next five years.

Patients waiting longer and longer in pain for treatment want action now and will expect the Secretary of State to outline a plan to reduce waiting lists and ensure the four hour target is met.”

Labour Call For Action on Same Sex Wards

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has called on the Government to do more to eliminate same sex wards to meet promises which it had previously made. Figures released showed that there were 969 breaches of the rules in September, more than double the 2015 figure.

Ashworth said in a statement:

“In 2012 Jeremy Hunt said mixed sex wards had been “virtually eliminated”. The fact that mixed sex wards are now at their highest level for six years reveals a bigger picture of overcrowded and overstretched hospitals as a result of Tory underfunding and mismanagement.

Yet again we see patients cruelly let down by Theresa May. Ministers simply cannot carry on burying their heads in the sand about the scale of the problems facing the NHS. In the Budget, Theresa May must match Labour’s pledge to deliver an extra £6 billion for our NHS across the next financial year to ensure the best possible quality of care is sustained for years to come”.

Government to Discuss Plans to Create New Grammar Schools

Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development

The Government is today to announce plans to allow for the creation of new grammar schools across the country. A debate will take place in the House of Commons which is led by Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education.

Accidentally revealed Government papers showed last week that there were plans to allow new grammar schools to open. Allowing new schools to open based on selection was stopped by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said on education last week in a keynote speech:

“We are effectively saying to poorer and some of the most disadvantaged children in our country that they can’t have the kind of education their richer counterparts can enjoy”.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Minister without Portfolio, said about the plans:

“Grammar schools won’t improve the lives of the many; they offer nothing to help hundreds of thousands of our children who deserve the best start in life. In returning to this failed project Theresa May is shifting the Tories even further from the interests of ordinary people, further that even David Cameron who said that rejecting the stale old grammars debate was a ‘key test’ of whether the Tories were fit for government”.