Labour’s strong mandate to fix “broken” NHS

After 14 long years of real-terms cuts in funding alongside increased pressures on the NHS, its 76th birthday (July 5) saw a change of government, and promises of a change in policy. The first was Labour’s new Health and Social Care Secretary Wes Streeting stating clearly that the NHS has been “broken” – and needs to be fixed.

Streeting went on to argue that “This government has received a mandate from millions of voters for change and reform of the NHS, so it can be there for us when we need it once again,” and this is clearly true, although not in the way he meant it.

With 412 Labour MPs and a huge majority in the House of Commons, Keir Starmer’s Labour government clearly now has the power to bring in real change.

However, the low 59.9% turnout, Labour’s national share of just 33.7% of the votes cast, and its lower number of votes (9.7m, compared with the ‘disastrous’ 10.2 million won by Jeremy Corbyn in 2019) make it much less a resounding vote for Labour’s hyper-cautious manifesto than a thumping rejection of Rishi Sunak’s right wing Tory Party, which has been reduced to 121 MPs.

Full story in The Lowdown, 9 July 2024