Cornish Tory MP : “The NHS needs more money, this is in no doubt”

But MP is accused of saying one thing and doing another

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has once again risked getting his knuckles rapped by Tory party bosses by calling for more money for the NHS.

In his MP’s column for The Cornishman this week the Conservative has said that there needs to be a national debate about the way the health service is funded but “The NHS needs more money, this is in no doubt”. 

His party colleagues in government have insisted that the NHS currently receives a record amount of funding and it needs to be more efficient to free up cash for services. Theresa May’s office even posted this tweet today:

 

 

Back in October, when a damning CQC report put Treliske on Special Measures (meaning external managers will be brought in to run things) Mr Thomas said “Philip Hammond and Jeremy Hunt must recognise that the transformation our health and care system needs will only be delivered with significant increases in spending on the NHS both in community and urgent care. It’s frankly ridiculous that we are discussing closing community beds as part of transformation without a clear plan of what should be provided for those who need step-down care”

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And now the MP has again called for more money “Millions more of us now access NHS services and scores more people work within what is the fifth biggest employer in the world” he writes in his column. “The core principle of being free at the point of use is central to the very ethos of the NHS and I’m not aware of any serious voice calling for this to change. In its 70th year there is an opportunity to have a national debate about how we fund the NHS going forward. The NHS needs more money, this is in no doubt.”

Andrew George, who was Derek Thomas’ predecessor as MP for West Cornwall & Scilly, and who will be challenging again at the next election told us today “His comments are astonishingly breathtaking but very much in character for a “say one thing, do another” chap like himself.

Mr George says the MP’s comments in the local paper  calling for more NHS cash directly contradict his actions in Parliament.

He’s always voted to do the exact opposite when in Parliament” Mr George told us “He’s failed to actually DO anything except vote as he’s told to vote by his Party.
It’s odd too that he fails to explain that he supports the Conservative Government which insists that Cornwall cuts at least £270m from our NHS by 2020″.
The Lib Dem then pointed to his own consistent record on the NHS and once again challenged Mr Thomas to a public debate on NHS funding, something the Conservative MP has repeatedly refused to commit to.
“In contrast I’ve always fought for the NHS, even if it means defying my Party whip. I’ve been pressing my Party to agree to making significant investment in the NHS, even if it means raising tax to pay for it. If anyone claims they want to spend more money they have to be honest and explain where it’s going to come from. I’ve proposed a 2p income tax rise to grant the NHS an extra £13+billion.
He says he thinks there should be a ‘debate’. I agree. So why does he refuse to come out and debate this publicly with me?
I have another public debate arranged for St Johns Hall on 26th of Jan. I don’t run away from public scrutiny. Let’s debate this properly. I’ll make sure there’s a spare chair for him if he wants it.”