London MPs call on Government to keep Vote Leave’s promise on NHS funding

Ten senior London MPs from Labour and the Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to keep the promise of the Vote Leave campaign to spend £350 million a week (amounting to £18.2bn a year) on the NHS, over and above current spending commitments.

They point to analysis from the House of Commons Library which shows that, if the money promised by Vote Leave were distributed in line with current health spending, the NHS in London would be in line for a cash injection of £1.575bn a year over and above what is currently planned.

The MPs are backing Vote Leave Watch’s #ShowUsTheMoney campaign, which is calling on the Chancellor to commit to this promise in his Autumn Statement on November 23rd. They are Chuka Umunna, the Chair of Vote Leave Watch; Liberal Democrat Tom Brake, Patron of Vote Leave Watch; and eight other Labour MPs: Rushanara Ali, Dawn Butler, Stella Creasy, Neil Coyle, Mike Gapes, Margaret Hodge, Seema Malhotra, and West Streeting.

Five members of the current cabinet made the £350 million pledge during the referendum campaign: Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Priti Patel, Andrea Leadsom, and Chris Grayling.

In an open letter to Philip Hammond, the ten MPs say:

“Dear Chancellor

“We believe in a London with an excellent, well-funded public sector that provides a world-class service to our city, pays its hard-working staff well, and treats them with respect.

“This was the vision of Britain promised by your cabinet colleagues who campaigned for a Leave vote in the EU referendum. Vote Leave promised that, if Britain left the EU, £350m a week extra would be spent on the NHS. They travelled the country in a bus which said: “We send the EU £350 million a week let’s fund our NHS instead.” In the press conference suite at their London headquarters, a large sign read: “Let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week.”

“The Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for International Trade, the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for International Development all made this commitment.

“In your speech to Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, you said that the message of the referendum result had been “received, loud and clear” by the government. Members of the government talk of the “mandate” from the voters for Brexit.

“We accept the verdict of the British people. Yet if this mandate is to mean anything, it must include the single most visible promise of the Leave campaign – spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“In just under a month, you will present your first Autumn Statement. We are calling on you to commit to giving London its share, which the House of Commons Library has calculated to be £1.575bn, as soon as this money becomes available by leaving the European Union. This additional funding must be over and above the amount that is currently planned to be spent on the National Health Service.

“Anything else will be a betrayal of the wishes of the people of London. We challenge you, when you stand up in the House of Commons on November 23rd, to show us the money and commit to Vote Leave’s promise; or explain why you cannot, and why your cabinet colleagues so cynically misled the people of London.”

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“I set up Vote Leave Watch to hold Leave campaigners to account for the promises they made in the referendum campaign, like spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“With the Government dominated by Vote Leavers like Boris and Liam Fox, it is vital they keep their promise to the people of London and show us the money.”