Iain Duncan Smith backtracks on Vote Leave’s £350million NHS claim after Brexit vote
- Credit: Archant
Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith has distanced himself from claims £350million would be sent to the NHS each week in the case of a Brexit vote.
The pledge was a central tenet of Vote Leave’s campaign during the European Union (EU) referendum, and could be seen in huge letters on their battle buses.
Mr Duncan Smith was frequently pictured next to the statement, as can be seen above, but he told the Andrew Marr Show yesterday that he never made the claim.
Leading Brexiter Mr Duncan Smith said: “I never said that during the course of the election. The £350m was an extrapolation of the £19.1bn – that’s the total amount of money we gave across to the European Union.
“What we actually said was a significant amount of it would go to the NHS. It’s essentially down to the government, but I believe that is what was pledged and that’s what should happen.
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“There was talk about it going to the NHS, but there are other bits and pieces like agriculture, which is part of the process. That is the divide up. It was never the total.”
The Woodford Green MP’s comments caused quite a stir on Twitter.
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Felicity Morse wrote: “Iain Duncan Smith like worst ex-boyfriend ever: ‘We never made any commitments. We just made a series of promises that were possibilities.’”
In Redbridge 54 per cent of voters backed remain, from a turnout of 128,233.
Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims, in Eton Road, Ilford, voted for leave, but said he was not concerned by Mr Duncan Smith’s comments.
“As long as we get the £350m, that is my view,” he commented.
“I’m sure some of the money will be spent on the NHS.”
Mr Duncan Smith’s office have been contacted for comment.