Starmer: '24 hours at A&E used to be a TV programme – now it's Boris's policy!'

8 June 2022, 13:01 | Updated: 8 June 2022, 16:17

Sir Keir and Boris faced off in the first PMQs since the no confidence vote
Sir Keir and Boris faced off in the first PMQs since the no confidence vote. Picture: Parliament TV

By Emma Soteriou

Sir Keir Starmer has slammed Boris Johnson's "wanting and inadequate" NHS standards, claiming 24 hours in A&E had become his "policy".

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It marked the first PMQs for Boris Johnson since his bruising no confidence vote earlier in the week.

And Sir Keir did not stop short of making a jibe or two when coming face-to-face with the PM again, saying he could not work out if he faced "cheers or boos" when he made his entrance.

Sir Keir went on to address issues within the NHS, saying: "In March, [Boris] proposed changing the NHS contract.

"He wants to double the length of time patients can be made to wait for surgery from one year to two years.

"On top of that he scrapped zero tolerance of 12-hour waits at A&E.

"24 hours at A&E used to be a TV programme – now it's his policy."

However, Mr Johnson argued that the Government had "raised standards" in the NHS and was investing in doctors and nurses.

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Speaking of several constituents who had suffered due to long waiting times in the NHS, Sir Keir said: "I also spoke to Akshay Patel.

"Last year, his mother woke up unable to breathe.

"Akshay called 999 six times.

"In his last call, he said: 'I rang an hour ago for an ambulance as she had difficulty breathing. Now she's dead.'"

It came after Sir Keir opened PMQs saying: "I couldn't make out whether that introductory noise was cheers or boos.

"The trouble is I don't know whether it is directed at me or him."

Sir Keir has also been under fire over the 'Beergate' gathering, where he was pictured drinking and eating a curry with colleagues while campaigning for the Hartlepool by election.