Tories and Labours spent the afternoon detonating bombs around the NHS minefield that has been rocking the media for the past few days, as tensions reached a head concerning the future of public healthcare. And it didn’t take long for the battle to hit the grounds of social media.  

Labour has been under scrutiny after Conservatives claimed they attempted to covering up failures in care.

Over the weekend, right-leaning papers attacked Labour over the NHS report from medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.

Tory MPs are condemning Shadow Secretary of Health Andy Burnham, criticising the NHS as a system laden with ineffective measures that are costing thousands their lives.

Indeed, 10 Tory MPs wrote to the Telegraph on Monday to suggest: “It is clear now that the last Labour government oversaw thousands of unnecessary deaths in our NHS hospitals and failed to expose or confront these care scandals.

“The patients we represent were betrayed. It would be an outrage if Andy Burnham were ever to return to the role of secretary of state for health.”

The pre-report claims championed by Tory MPs, suggest it will be revealed that 13,000 excess deaths in the 14 investigated hospitals occurred because of NHS incompetency. 

However, Mr Keogh sent an email disowning the weekend accounts of his report: “Not my calculations, not my views. Don’t believe everything you read, particularly in some newspapers.”

As the report started to appear on Tuesday, it was revealed there was no death toll. Indeed, Mr Keogh also dismissed such figures as “clinically meaningless and academically reckless”, saying excess deaths were not a measure of avoidable deaths. He instead said that a key problem was low levels of staffing, including a lack of nurses.

In the Commons yesterday, Mr Burnham went on the defensive, as the usually mild-mannered Jeremy Hunt accused Labour of covering up poor care.

Mr Hunt said: “If founding the NHS is considered Labour’s proudest achievement, today is its darkest moment as a Labour government are exposed as caring more about their own reputation than about our most vulnerable citizens in the NHS.”

And it wasn’t just Mr Burnham that mounted a defence to the accusation during yesterday’s heated Parliament hearing. NHS supporters from every corner of social media have mobilized a Twitter blitz, sharing their positive—often life-saving—accounts of NHS’s success.

The #IloveOurNHS movement is surging across the UK. 

The overarching sentiment among NHS supporters is that the Tories are attempting to drag healthcare into the pettifog of politics in effort to undermine and demonise Labour’s management of health, reopening the dialogue of state provision of healthcare.

The left’s backlash to the onslaught of negative publicity has been swift, furious, and personal to say the least. 



Image via Getty