Scots Tory Leader says doctors are ‘politicising pay’ because they’re anti-Tory

BMA spokesperson shares grievances with Tory government

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has accused English junior doctors of politicising their pay because of a vendetta against the Tory Government.

Speaking at a visit to Ayrshire today, Mr Ross claimed junior doctors south of the border had been offered the chance to accept the same deal as accepted by Scottish junior doctors, but had turned it down.

Asked if they had begun politicising their pay, he said: “I think junior doctors have accepted that their campaigners have done that.

“They were asked distinctly would you accept the very same offer that has been made to Scottish junior doctors and they said no.

“Because they want to make this an issue against the Government. That’s not me saying this, that’s an admission from their leadership.”

READ MORE: BMA accused of ‘politically motivated’ plot to bring down Tory Government

In Scotland, junior doctors were offered a rise of 12.4 percent in 2023-24, with increases in line with inflation until at least 2026-27.

In England, doctors were offered a six percent rise along with an additional consolidation £1,250 increase, averaging at around 8.8 percent per doctor.

Junior doctors rejected the deal, and went on strike for several days.

Mr Ross added: “We’ve actually seen when the junior doctor representatives in England were asked would they accept the very same deal that’s now been accepted, they said no.

“Because they want to make this a political issue against a Conservative Government at a UK level rather than getting a deal that works for junior doctors and gets them back to work.”

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Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme last Friday, co-chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee Dr Rob Laurenson suggested the group’s opposition to a pay settlement is because of ideological differences with the Tories.

Asked whether the BMA would accept the kind of deal agreed in Scotland, Dr Laurenson replied: “No because the Governments are very different.

“The Scottish Government, there’s a basis to have a relationship and a working relationship to negotiate in the future, the Government [in Westminster] that we have today are hellbent on using the rigged independent pay review body to suppress our pay.”

Responding to the bombshell confession, a source close to Health Secretary Steve Barclay said that the interview was ultimate proof the union is only focussed on bringing down an elected Government, not representing its members.

They said: “This is a clear admission from the BMA junior doctors leadership that their strikes are part of a politically-motivated campaign aimed at bringing down the Government.

“This industrial action is not in the interests of ordinary doctors in training or of patients.

“We are delivering a fair pay award averaging 8.8 percent for doctors in training with 10.3 percent for the lowest earners. The BMA should end their strikes immediately.”

Rishi Sunak has admitted his progress in lowering waiting times has been hampered by the strikes.

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