Rishi Sunak floored by 4 phrase reply to his NHS boast in BBC interview

Rishi Sunak was skewered over his use of private healthcare as he tried to tout his record on the NHS.

In an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson, the Prime Minister was forced to admit that he’d failed to meet his promise to cut NHS waiting lists but claimed his plan was working. Mr Sunak again tried to blame NHS strikes for backlog for treatment.

But Mr Robinson said: “I think the worry people have when they look at that record, is they think it’s all right for Conservative leaders. What they can do is go private, pay and skip the queue.”

Mr Sunak replied: “I come from an NHS family, so my dad was a GP. My mum was a pharmacist. I was surrounded…” But Mr Robinson interjected: “You use private healthcare.”

The PM was forced to concede this was true, saying: “Yes, I have done in the past, but I also use the NHS and rely on the NHS, as do my kids. But at the end of the day, I was raised in an NHS family, surrounded by people who dedicated their lives to the NHS, talking at home about what more they could do to look after their patients and that’s how I think about the NHS today.

“Which is why, as I said, we’re backing it with record funding and more doctors and nurses. Now, as you can see, we are bringing the waiting lists down after what has been a difficult period.”

The mega-rich PM admitted last year that he had used private healthcare in the past after coming under pressure to disclose whether he used the NHS. “I am registered with an NHS GP. I have used independent healthcare in the past,” he told MPs.

In a debate with Keir Starmer last week, Mr Sunak said he would use private health care if he had a loved-one stuck on an NHS waiting list. However the Labour leader said he wouldn’t. Pressed on whether he’d go private, Mr Starmer said: “No. I don’t use private health. I use the NHS. That’s where my wife works, in one of the big hospitals; as I said it runs through my DNA.”