Firebrand Dennis Skinner repeated his ‘Dodgy Dave’ jibe at the Prime Minister in the Commons today as he called for help to save Bolsover Hospital.
The Bolsover MP, famously known as the Beast of Bolsover for hos no-nonsense approach to politics, was thrown out of the chamber in April after giving David Cameron the controversial moniker and then refusing to retract it despite being ordered by the speaker.
However, he was not even warned during Prime Minister’s Questions today in front of a packed house.
Referring to the cuts that could see Bolsover Hospital close, and the promises made by Brexit leaders that £350 million each week could be ploughed back into the NHS if Britain left the EU, he said: “The people of Bolsover saw the notices on the side of buses about the £350 million for the NHS.
“We need the beds, I’m sure he (David Cameron) understands that.
“When this hospital closes, it will be gone forever.
“I want him to use a little bit of that money, not very much, to save the hospital, save the beds and save the jobs.
“Then the press might have a headline saying ‘The Prime Minister Dodgy Dave assists the Beast to save Bolsover Hospital’ - what a temptation.”
Mr Cameron, who did not rise to the insult, responded: “I do not have the exact information about Bolsover Hospital, but I will look at it very carefully.
“I will say we are putting £19 billion extra into the NHS, but as far as what it said on the side of buses, my argument has always been that we need a strong economy to fund the NHS.”
Bolsover Hospital is under threat as part of plans to overhaul how older people are cared for in the community.
Health bosses are calling for better care for the elderly in their home, minimising the needs for costly and traumatic hospital visits.
Along with Bolsover, Bakewell’s Newholme Hospital is also being put at risk.
Bolsover resident and Socialist Party activist, Jon Dale, said: “There are currently 43,000 people over the age of 80 in Derbyshire and in 10 years time there will be 63,000.
“Shouldn’t we be increasing the number of community hospitals rather than getting rid of them?
“If people are going to be cared for in their own homes I think they won’t get proper care - they will get rushed visits.
“Behind this proposal is a plan to privatise services and you will end up with companies like Care UK providing minimal services and it will be the elderly who suffer.