Jeremy Hunt hits out at ‘totally false’ £44k luxury shower room reports
Jeremy Hunt has furiously denied reports that he demanded a personal bathroom worth £44,000 at his new office.
The Health Secretary said, while he had asked the department to install a shower for staff who cycle to work, he would have no personal need for the facilities.
The Sun reported that the new 15ft by 8ft room included floor-to-ceiling lava tiles, vanity mirrors, recessed lighting, a designer toilet and a power shower, despite the department’s new building already having showers in the basement.
The paper said: “Mr Hunt demanded the private suite in his penthouse office, which has magnificent views over the capital, so he can freshen up undisturbed after cycling to work.”
And they quoted a whistleblower at the department's new HQ who said: “It’s a disgrace that Hunt talks about the need to save money while getting the taxpayer to pay for a private bathroom fit for a king.
“People across Britain are waiting on trolleys at hospitals because there are no beds and waiting lists are getting longer by the day.”
They added: “How can he justify it while telling everyone else in the NHS to tighten their belts?”
Mr Hunt took to Twitter to dismiss the claims, insisting it was only a shower that he had requested.
Labour had seized on the report to attack the minister for ordering new facilities at a time when health chiefs have been asked to make £22bn of efficiency savings by 2020.
Labour MP and chairman Ian Lavery said: “It is outrageous that Jeremy Hunt, who has overseen an average real-term cut of 14% in nurses’ pay, is spending £44,000 on a ministerial bathroom.”
Before Mr Hunt’s Tweets, a Department of Health spokesperson said: “The Health Secretary has not approved any costs relating to the department’s building, but has requested facilities for all cyclists and runners in line with those the department currently has.”
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