Junior doctors’ union boss Dr Rob Laurenson on holiday as medics start four-day strike

Mark Jenkinson, Conservative MP for Workington, said: “Militant union members put lives in danger in a strike carefully choreographed to cause maximum damage… But rather than sit round the table with government, or God forbid even spend some time on a picket line fighting for what they believe in, instead they’re swanning off [on holiday]. 

“Their contempt for patients really knows no bounds.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, said the BMA “wants to show its power by demanding an unfeasibly large pay rise for its reasonably paid and well-pensioned members and then going on strike.

“It does not care about patients who will suffer and with a leading figure swanning off on holiday it has no genuine desire to settle.”

The strike action came as it emerged that junior doctors are claiming up to £10,000 tax-free in “life admin” expenses on the NHS, including redirecting their post and nursery fees.

The Telegraph has also reported fears among NHS leaders that the BMA could be plotting walkouts over every upcoming bank holiday.

Dr Trivedi, who was on the picket lines outside London hospitals on Tuesday, said unless the Government entered into talks the union would “reserve the right” to stage more strikes.

“We just want them to come to the table in an honest and meaningful way,” he said.

Prof Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, said: “This is going to be the most disruptive period of strike action that we’ve seen this winter, probably the most disruptive period of action in NHS history.”

Asked about comments that the strike will cause disruption for at least a month, he said: “It will certainly last weeks.

“We’ve asked hospitals to reschedule appointments as quickly as possible but this is going to cause unparalleled disruption, so it will take some time.”

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