By Jonathan Isaby
I have only just clocked a piece written by Simon Carr in yesterday's Independent, which refers to a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party which took place earlier this week and was addressed by shadow health secretary, John Healey.
John Healey (Health) gave the MPs a speech that must have been devised or at least approved by the three of them [Healey, Miliband and Balls]. He told his colleagues, in terms, that David Cameron had used the death of his disabled son to detoxify the Tory brand and to validate his party's position on the NHS.
To the credit of Labour MPs present, this was thought to be lower than the mould which grows on the scum that covers the waste that snakes leave behind them in the night. It shows that Ed Balls has moved on from Damian McBride – but in the wrong direction.
Healey's spokesman is saying that what was an unscripted speech (which was, he adds, not discussed with anyone before being made) has been misrepresented, and that he wants the paper to publish a clarification:
"John said that for the Conservatives, the NHS – both in opposition and now in government – was about politics rather than health policy or the interests of patients; and that David Cameron had used the NHS to define himself to help detoxify the Conservative Party in the eyes of the electorate. This was reflected in the commitment made both at the election and in the Coalition Agreement to increase NHS funding. John also said that when David Cameron spoke about the support his family has received from frontline NHS staff, people wanted to believe in his promise to protect the NHS. With this promise now broken on both the funding and reorganisation fronts, it is clear that they cannot."
As far as I am aware, Carr is standing by his story.