Labour hypocrisy as key party figures have used private healthcare

Rishi Sunak faces question on NHS crisis

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It comes despite many in the party criticising Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for attempting to dismiss the issue and then last week confirming that he had used private cover in the past.

Labour shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has now revealed he has also used private healthcare.

He avoided the NHS waiting list and had an operation on a date that suited him, thanks to private cover provided by a former employer.

A Sunday Express inquiry found he is not the only member of the Shadow Cabinet to go private at some point.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper paid for a diagnostic scan while pregnant, after being advised by her NHS doctor to do so.

Shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy had a wisdom tooth extracted privately after being told her NHS dentist could not do the procedure.

And deputy leader Angela Rayner has previously said she had cosmetic surgery privately 12 years ago.

No member of the Shadow Cabinet has said they have health cover or routinely go private.

A Labour spokesman said: “Health-care is a ­matter for individuals.”

Explaining how he went private, Mr Streeting said: “When I worked at Comet as a ­student, staff were given BUPA cover, which I used once for a minor operation on the advice of my NHS GP so that I could go into hospital over the summer holiday and avoid it interfering with my exams.

“It’s why I’ve been so determined to make sure Labour uses private sector capacity to bring down waiting lists.

“So people who don’t have work cover and can’t afford to pay ­privately aren’t left behind.”

Mr Streeting claimed he is not among those Labour politicians criticising someone for going private, explaining: “If people want to take out private healthcare insurance, that’s their choice. It’s a free country. We’re not interested in wagging our fingers at people who go private.”

But when the PM initially attempted to dismiss the issue, it prompted criticism from Ms Rayner, who said it is “important” for Mr Sunak – who is registered with an NHS GP – to “tell the public” whether he used the NHS.

Tory MPs hit out at the latest revelations. Michael Fabricant said: “Labour are such hypocrites, aren’t they?”

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