Jeremy Hunt accuses Labour of ‘politicising’ NHS hacking

Posted On: 
15th May 2017

Jeremy Hunt has accused Jeremy Corbyn of “politicising” last week’s cyber attack on a number of NHS trusts.

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The Health Secretary told the BBC he would "caution against politicising what is a national security issue as I'm afraid Jeremy Corbyn has been doing this morning".

Jeremy Corbyn used a speech to the Royal College of Nursing earlier today to blame cuts for last week’s attack, which led to widespread cancellations of hospital and GP appointments.

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Speaking in Liverpool, the Labour leader said: “Waiting lists are soaring and, as we saw last week, Tory cuts have exposed patient services to cyber attacks.

“I would like to pay tribute to how all NHS staff have responded to this terrible cyber-attack,” he said.

“The stress you must have faced trying to keep patients safe must have been intense, this was just another example of the extraordinary lengths you go to every day to keep our country healthy.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth told Good Morning Britain earlier that Mr Hunt had been as “elusive as Shergar” in recent days, adding: “I haven’t got a clue where Jeremy [is].”

Mr Hunt later spoke to the BBC, where he confirmed there had not been further attacks.

He said the hack had served as a warning to everyone to back up their data.

"We've not seen a second wave of attacks and the level of criminal activity is at the lower end of the range that we had anticipated," he said.

“But the message is very clear, not just for organisations like the NHS, but private individuals, businesses, although we’ve never seen anything on this scale of ransomware attacks they are relatively common.

Theresa May insisted hospital trusts were warned about the risks to security and defended the government’s record.

“Across the world cybersecurity is an issue that we need to address. That’s why the Government, when we came into government in 2010, put money into cybersecurity, it’s why we’re putting £2bn into cyber security over the coming years, and of course created the National Cybersecurity Centre," she said.

“We take cybersecurity seriously, we’ve been working with the NHS, and I’d like to thank all those staff in the NHS who’ve been working so hard to ensure that patient safety has not been compromised.”