Matt Hancock insists 40 new hospitals will be built - but that's not what his PPS said
9 November 2019, 09:06
Matt Hancock repeatedly insisted that 40 new hospitals will be built but his PPS said something different to Iain Dale.
Andrew Castle said to Matt Hancock: "Let me ask you this, why does Boris Johnson keep saying that we're building 40 new hospitals - or you are. We're not."
Hancock relied: "Yes, we will over the next decade. Absolutely, he says it because it's true."
Castle said: "No, you're going to be building a small number and offering seed capital to investigate the development of all the others. So you're not building 40 new hospitals, it's a little bit of a fib. Isn't it?"
Hancock again insisted that they would.
Castle asked what would happened if the business plans didn't work and the seed capital wasn't followed up by proper investment.
Hancock said: "Now, we are able to commit the full funding to six of the projects but we're also making sure that there are projects being developed so that we can fund them over the next decade."
He once again stated, later in the interview, that 40 state-of-the-art new hospitals will "absolutely" be built in the next decade.
However, in an interview with Matt Hancock's Parliamentary Private Secretary Gillian Keegan, this was disputed.
Keegan said: "I am actually the PPS to Matt Hancock, so I've been going through all these plans. So, there are six named hospitals, shovel ready, which they're actually starting to build.
There are 34 that have been given the money to get themselves to that point."
Iain Dale put it to her that they are not new hospitals.
She replied: "Some of them are new, some of them are new units, Some, it depends what they needs."
She later said: "Some of them will be new wings of this."