Sefton-born Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has been condemned as a ‘grossly unsuitable candidate’ by the whistleblower who exposed the Mid Staffordhsire hospital scandal.
Campaigner Julie Bailey, who last year ws awarded the CBE for her tireless campaigning, said she was ‘shocked and appalled’ that Andy Burnham – who was Health Secretary when the real scale of neglect at the Mid Staffs NHS Trust came out – has put himself forward as a possible Labour Leader.She accuses Burnham of showing no remorse and giving no apology over the scandal – and has little time for more local Labour MPs who also ignored the scandal.
Julie Bailey said:
“While Health Secretary, Andy Burnham presided over a culture of denial and cover-up over NHS care scandals that cost lives in failing hospitals across the country.
“From ignoring repeated warnings about high hospital death rates, to dodging calls for a public inquiry, Andy Burnham put politics before patients every time.
“Worse still, several experts have independently testified that under his leadership there was political pressure to present good news rather than expose poor care.
“Still today, he shows no remorse, has offered no apology and accepts no wrongdoing.
“We believe him to be a grossly unsuitable candidate. It would be a disaster for patients if he was ever to become Health Secretary again, let alone assume any higher public office.”
Mr Burnham, 45, faced fierce criticism last year after he suggested that the official report into the deaths at Mid Staffordshire hospital should not have been published ‘because of the damage it did to the hospital’s reputation’. Many people felt that the reputation he was trying to protect was his own. Often compared to a Thunderbird puppet due to his long eye lashes and motionless face, Burnham has also faced serious criticism for his NHS responsibilities in opposition. He claimed to oppose NHS privatisation when, in fact, Labour, largely under his leadership, privatised more of the NHS than the Coalition did.
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