Theresa May says she is 'proud' of NHS after Donald Trump 'broke and not working' jibe

Posted On: 
5th February 2018

Theresa May has said she is "proud of having an NHS that is free at the point of delivery" after Donald Trump claimed it was "broke and not working".

Theresa May and Donald Trump at the White House last year.
PA Images

The US president's jibe apparently came after he watched former Ukip leader Nigel Farage on right-wing American TV channel Fox News denouncing the state of the UK health service.

President Trump used the example of Britain as he attacked the Democratic Party's support for universal healthcare.

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He also referred to the thousands of people who marched through the centre of London on Saturday demanding more funding for the health service.

The president was rebuked by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who took a swipe at the fact that millions of Americans have no medical cover at all.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman also hit back at President Trump's remarks.

He said: "The Prime Minister is proud of having an NHS that is free at the point of delivery. NHS funding is at a record high and was prioritised in the Budget with an extra £2.8bn.

"In the recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, the NHS was rated the best in the world for a second time."

The spokesman insisted Mrs May enjoys a "good relationship" with the president, but his latest remarks will no doubt cause further anguish in Downing Street just 10 days after the pair had apparently settled their differences at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The president sparked a row last month after he cancelled a planned visit to London to open the new US embassy.

He claimed the decision was a protest at the "bad deal" struck on the building by the Obama administration, but it is understood he was angry at criticism aimed at him by British politicians, including Mrs May.

The incident followed a rebuke from the Prime Minister in November, when she said President Trump was "wrong" to retweet anti-Muslim posts from far-right group Britain First.

The pair have also clashed over President Trump's decision to ban immigrants from some Muslim countries, America's withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement and the US embassy in Israel's controversial move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Mrs May's spokesman said the president's working visit to the UK later this year is still set to go ahead.

He said: "The UK and the US have a deep and enduring relationship which is hugely important and hugely strong."

But Labour backed President Trump's criticism of the Government's handling of the NHS.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: "Even Donald Trump knows, you can’t trust the Tories with our NHS.

"The President is right to focus on Saturday’s march in which thousands of people joined Labour in protesting eight years of austerity, which have drastically worsened patient outcomes and demoralised the workforce."