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  1. ITV Report

Jeremy Corbyn grills Theresa May over lack of mental health staff

Theresa May was grilled on mental health failings in the NHS.

Jeremy Corbyn attacked Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday over "insufficient" budgeting for mental health care services.

He criticised the Tory government for an "overuse of agency staff" in the health service, quoting the NHS Ombudsman as saying that there are not enough "skilled and qualified staff" specialising in mental health support.

Probing further, Mr Corbyn asked the Prime Minister to explain why there are "5,000 fewer mental health nurses" than back in 2010, and slammed the Prime Minister for the extensive cuts to mental health care budgets, citing ITV's Project 84 campaign which raises awareness on male suicide figures.

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Mrs May strongly defended Tory decisions on spending, stating that there is a parity of esteem and that 1,400 more people every day are accessing mental health services than when the Conservatives came into power.

She also assured that some £1 billion will be put into support for mental health services by 2021.

Jeremy Corbyn pushed the Prime Minister on issues surrounding mental health care. Credit: Parliament TV

In light of World Autism Awareness Week, Mr Corbyn put mental health care failings under the spotlight, honing in on the tragic death of autistic teenager Connor Sparrowhawk who passed away whilst in the care of Southern Health NHS trust.

The Prime Minister's retort assured that "significant steps" had been taken to improve NHS support for those on the autism spectrum, and that "lessons had been learnt" as a result of these failings.

The Prime Minister hit back at Mr Corbyn's tirade by stating that the Tory government had increased mental health training in schools and that young people will not be taken to police cells as a place of safety when in crisis.

In another blow, Mrs May said, "It's all very well Labour members chuntering about this, but dealing with mental health means addressing it in a variety of ways.

"We are taking more steps to address the issues of mental health than the Labour government ever took when they were in power."