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'Nye' Johnson flies the flag for the NHS

Alan Johnson has been on a PR charm offensive of late as he continues his war of words with the BMA.

By Gareth Iacobucci

Alan Johnson has been on a PR charm offensive of late as he continues his war of words with the BMA.



The battle has almost matched the Ronaldo to Real Madrid saga for its bitterness, the stubborness of both parties in holding their ground and the distance from a potential settlement.

But, with the NHS's 60th birthday approaching, the self-styled ‘man of the people' possibly did one step over too many in his efforts to play to the crowd this week when he compared himself to Nye Bevan, the founding father of the health service.

Addressing the floor in a Commons debate, the health secretary read a quote from the iconic minister of health, which, he claimed, applied to his own stewardship of the health service.

'It can hardly be suggested that the conflict between the BMA and the minister of the day is a consequence of any deficiencies I possess, because we have never been able yet to appoint a Minister of Health with whom the BMA agreed,' he read.

‘No change there then,' added Mr Johnson. ‘I am sticking to the tradition established by Nye Bevan'.

Aneurin Bevan

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