Jeremy Corbyn brands Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle 'pointless and lacklustre PR exercise'

NewsPoliticsCorbyn Does the Prime Minister really believe that the NHS is better prepared than ever?Jack Peat

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, successfully faced down the Prime Minister when she asked him to become business secretary, forcing Mrs May to tear up her plans to promote or move other ministers who were already pencilled in.

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".

Mr Corbyn attempted to capitalise further on the misfired reshuffle, adding: "The Prime Minister needs to understand that it's her policies that are pushing our NHS into crisis".

As the NHS dominated the pair's exchanges at question-time, Mr Corbyn cited reports that nurses were "spending their entire shift treating people in auto parks" due to backed-up ambulances.

Mr Corbyn cited reports that nurses were "spending their entire shift treating people in auto parks" due to backed-up ambulances.

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.

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"Of course we want to ensure that those operations can be reinstated as soon as possible, but it's about making sure that those who most urgently need care are able to get that treatment when they need it". "We are putting record funding into the NHS and record funding into mental health".

Mr Corbyn raised the case of an 82-year-old woman who spent 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor, noting she arrived at hospital three hours after first dialling 999.

Mrs May did not comment on the individual case, but said: "If we look at what is happening across the NHS, what we see is that actually the NHS is delivering for more people, it is treating more people and more people are being seen within the four hours every day than has been a few years ago".

"Our National Health Service is something we should be proud of and that's why it's a first-class National Health Service".

The testy exchanges came as MPs debated a Labour motion - which the Government has said it will abstain on - which expresses "concern at the effect on patient care of the closure of 14,000 hospital beds since 2010". Is the Government considering a 10-year funding cycle suggested by the Health Secretary before the reshuffle?

It also calls on the Government to "increase cash limits for the current year" in order for hospitals to reschedule elective operations.

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