Starmer refuses to say if he’d give doctors a larger pay rise offer
The Conservatives have accused the British Medical Association of having “a political agenda” with the junior doctors strikes after it emerged that one of their leadership team worked for Gordon Brown’s Government.
Greg Beales has been dubbed “Dr Hypocrite” by the Tories, even though he is not a qualified doctor after it emerged that he was a senior adviser to Mr Brown at a time when many doctors’ wages were being frozen.
Beales is director of communications and policy at the BMA having joined in 2020 and an important part of the strikes by junior doctors demanding a mammoth 35 percent pay rise.
Before joining the BMA, Beales was a senior adviser for health and social care issues to the then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown throughout his premiership from 2007 to 2010 before going on to be the Labour Party’s Director of Policy.
During his time advising on Health the then Labour Government announced pay freezes for most senior NHS managers, consultants, GPs and dentists whilst offering just one per cent to junior doctors in 2010.
READ MORE: Doctors strike ‘will force 8 million onto the NHS’s waiting list’
A Conservative source said: “The hypocrisy is stunning.
“When key members of the BMA team were working in the heart of a Labour government, they agreed to freeze doctors pay. Now they are working for a union they are arguing for a 35 per cent plus pay rise that they know isn’t reasonable.
“Sadly, it seems like they are more interested in playing politics than in improving care for patients.”
Junior doctors are on strike this week again despite being offered huge pensions relief and a pay rise worth up to 9 percent.
In Prime Minister’s questions today, Rishi Sunak acknowledged that the doctors’ strikes are lengthening waiting lists for people desperate for operations around the country.
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The pay freeze came after the banking crisis of 2008 when Mr Brown was having to restore the economy after bailing out a number of major banks.
A BMA spokeswoman said: “Mr Beales is employed by the BMA as the Director of Policy and Communications. He previously advised the Government between 2005 and 2010, a period of rising pay for healthcare workers.
“In fact, he was an adviser to the Government in 2008 which is the focus of our efforts to restore pay to fair levels.”
However, the latest revelation has added to concerns of a hard left takeover at the BMA transforming it into a trade union, not a body to regulate the medical profession.
Earlier this year it was revelated that the co-Chair of the BMA junior doctors committee Dr Robert Laurenson called for the professional body to be ‘structured to union activity’ and away from being primarily concerned with medicine.
It was reported: that he said, “There’s been a tremendous shift inside the BMA that has only happened recently” towards more hard-line activism.
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