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  1. ITV Report

May and Corbyn clash over NHS in first PMQs of 2018

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener

Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Theresa May's handling of the NHS, as the winter health crisis dominated the first prime minister's questions of the year.

The Labour leader cited an ITV News report on hospitals becoming so pressed for space that nurses are having to spend whole days treating patients in car parks.

Mrs May reiterated her apology to the thousands of patients who have had theiroperations postponed, but insisted the NHS was better funded and prepared than ever before under her government.

The questions came in the wake of increasing demands on NHS services over the winter months, with hospitals reporting staff shortages, a lack of bed space and delays getting thousands of patients to A&E by ambulance.

Mr Corbyn raised the case of an 82-year-old woman who spent 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor, noting she arrived at hospital three hours after dialling 999.

He said this is not an "isolated" case, adding: "Does the Prime Minister really believe the NHS is better prepared than ever for the crisis it's now going through?"

The prime minister, who offered to examine the case, accused Mr Corbyn of giving the impression that the NHS is failing everybody.

"Week in and week out, in the run-up to Christmas and now today, what (Mr Corbyn) is doing is giving the impression of a National Health Service that is failing everybody that goes to use the NHS," she said.

"The reality in our NHS is that we are seeing 2.9 million more people now going to accident and emergency, over 2 million more operations taking place each year.

"Our National Health Service is something we should be proud of and that's why it's a first-class."

Here are some of the other talking points from PMQs:

  • 'Too weak to sack Hunt'
Jeremy Hunt looking unamused on the front bench. Credit: ITV News

Jeremy Corbyn made repeated digs at Theresa May's supposed inability to sack health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

This was in reference to reports that the prime minister wanted to move him to the business secretary role in her recent reshuffle, before Mr Hunt persuaded her to keep him in the role and even add social care to his responsibilities.

"The health secretary, during his occupation of her office to keep his job said he won't abandon the ship," Mr Corbyn said.

"Isn't that an admission that under his captaincy the ship is indeed sinking?"

The health secretary appeared less than amused from the front benches.

  • May's awkward Rayner gaffe

Problems with the NHS were not the only thing Theresa May had to apologise for during PMQs.

Angela Rayner's absence from the Labour benches was brought up by the prime minister during an attack on the opposition's economic credibility.

This quickly backfired, as the prime minister was informed the shadow education secretary was undergoing medical treatment.

"I did not realise the shadow education secretary was herself undergoing medical treatment, I apologise unreservedly for that comment," Mrs May said, prompting an awkward hush over the Commons.

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  • May stands firm on cancer treatments

The prime minister was asked to apologise for another health related story - this time a report that cancer patients could be hit with delays for treatment over shortages of specialist staff.

Luciana Berger, the Labour MP who posed the question, said she did not get the apology she asked for, as May stood firm on the government's record on cancer treatment.

  • Remainers' naughty corner

One journalist noted a 'naughty corner' for EU rebels may be forming on the Tory backbenches - this was not denied by one Remainer MP.

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