- REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Theresa May over her reshuffle on Monday, labelling it a “lacklustre PR exercise.”
The Conservative Prime Minister has been shaking up her front bench, with Karen Bradley appointed Northern Ireland secretary after predecessor James Brokenshire resigned over health reasons, Matt Hancock made culture secretary, and David Gauke appointed justice secretary. But the heavy-hitters – including Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, Sajid Javid, and Greg Clark – have remained in their existing roles.
Jeremy Hunt, now the longest-serving health secretary ever, has given an expanded brief that includes social care. According to one report, he had been due to be moved to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, but refused.
Speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn accused May of “dodging the real issues” with a “pointless” reshuffle, according to a copy of his remarks shared ahead of time.
Attacking the government over the ongoing winter NHS crisis that has seen tens of thousands of operations and appointments cancelled, he said: “It’s simply not good enough. You can’t make up for nearly eight years of failure by changing the name of a department.
“Back in the real world, outside Westminster, our health service is on its knees: with patients dying as they wait for ambulances to arrive, ambulances stacking up outside hospitals, and corridors full with trolleys and patients.”
He added: “Yesterday on the BBC’s Marr show, Theresa May said of the NHS crisis that ‘nothing is perfect.’ That is breathtaking complacency and entirely unacceptable. When people are dying because of this government’s decisions, we know what it is that has to change.”