NHS attack 'unpatriotic'14th August 2009
A Tory MEP who attacked the NHS on American TV has been accused of being unpatriotic by health secretary Andy Burnham.
Daniel Hannan made his comments after stepping into the debate raging in the US over President Barack Obama’s planned health bill.
Mr Hannan has appeared on American television in recent weeks, describing the NHS as "60 year mistake" and saying that he "wouldn't wish it on anyone".
However, Conservative leader David Cameron described Mr Hannan’s view as “eccentric” and distanced himself from them as Labour and the Liberal Democrats questioned the Tory party’s commitment to the NHS.
He said: “The Conservative Party stands four square behind the NHS.
“We are the party of the NHS, we back it, we are going to expand it, we have ring-fenced it and said that it will get more money under a Conservative government, and it is our number one mission to improve it.”
The Leader of the Conservative group in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope said Mr Hannan should be disciplined for his comments.
Mr Burnham has hit back at criticism that the government had not done enough to defend the NHS from attacks in the US.
Of Mr Hannan’s comment he said: “I would almost feel... it is unpatriotic because he is talking in foreign media and not representing, in my view, the views of the vast majority of British people and actually, I think giving an unfair impression of the National Health Service himself, a British representative on foreign media."
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