An NHS campaigner has slammed a Lincolnshire MP for suggesting that junior doctors should be banned from striking just hours after marching against the overnight closure of Grantham A&E.
Grantham resident Steve Nesbitt said that Nick Boles had cynically exploited the crisis at the town’s A&E department for his own ends.
Boles, the MP for Grantham and Stamford, said that the government should consider measures to stop junior doctors from striking, in the same way that police officers and the armed forces are banned from taking industrial action.
His comments came just one day after thousands took to the streets of Grantham to protest against the decision to close the A&E department from 6.30pm to 9am.
Junior doctors have now called off planned strike action between September 12 and 16, but further walkouts have not been suspended.
Nesbitt said: “A growing number of local residents believe that he has used the people of Grantham and the surrounding areas as a tool to get his face on the TV as a cynical tactic to appease local voters.
Mr Boles’ comments on the junior doctors’ strike show his true colours and his constituents need to hold him to book on this issue.
“The junior doctors are doing what they are doing because they see a real threat to their own wellbeing and that of the patients in their care.”
Nick Boles told The Mirror: “If a public service on which people rely for matters of life, death and wellbeing are going to behave unreasonably, there will be growing public concern we need more than ballot thresholds.
If they proceed with these five-day strikes, it would absolutely be a logical step for the government to look at what sort of no-strike arrangement could be brought in.
A spokesperson for the Conservative MP told Lincolnshire Reporter that there was no inconsistency and that he stood by both of his comments.