Andy Burnham’s car crash with Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark is well worth a watch:
A very tetchy Shadow Health Secretary began the interview by admitting “there is a role for the private sector”, then piled into the Tories for putting “all services” at the hands of the market. As Kirsty politely pointed out, only 6% of NHS services have been outsourced to the private sector, and the vast majority of that was done by Burnham’s Labour government:
When Wark asked for “a straight answer” on how much Labour would allow to be outsourced – “a number, a number please” – Burnham refused, saying: “I’m not going to put a number on it” and that responsibility for this was at local level. The Tory outsourcing so aggressively decried by Burnham is just 1.5% more than he implemented, and he won’t even commit to reducing it.
Perhaps Burnham’s bad mood was something to do with this morning’s front pages, which report Labour figures have responded to his big speech yesterday by laying into the party’s NHS strategy.
As Miliband centres Labour’s election campaign on the NHS, public satisfaction is at an all time high…