Image source, Getty Images
Conservative Party deputy chairman Lee Anderson has apologised to a doctor over a “misleading” social media post.
He offered his “sincerest apologies” to Tom Dolphin for any distress caused by a post on X, formerly Twitter, related to the ongoing junior doctors strike.
The MP has also agreed to pay £1,870 to the British Medical Association (BMA) strike fund to “compensate the upset I may have caused”.
Dr Dolphin tweeted to thank Mr Anderson for his “very gracious apology”.
On 6 October, in a tweet which appears to have been deleted, Mr Anderson responded to a Mail Online article that reported Dr Dolphin had “boasted of charging the NHS for a strike cover shift”.
A tweet from Dr Dolphin on that day suggests that “some commentators” had not understood that he, as a consultant, had been covering for striking junior doctors. He had not been on strike himself on this occasion.
On Sunday, Mr Anderson wrote a post to say that his words had been misleading.
The Ashfield MP, who is also a presenter on the GB News channel, said he understood Dr Dolphin had donated the pay for his covered shift to the BMA strike fund, and “whilst I do not agree with the strikes” this was an unselfish act and he would make the same contribution to the fund.
Dr Dolphin responded to the apology saying: “A very gracious apology, thank you Lee Anderson.
“Thanks also for the donation. I hope it inspires others to donate to the strike fund as well.”
The BMA said doctors had been “repeatedly misrepresented by the government during this industrial dispute” and said it was good the false claims about Dr Dolphin had been corrected.
Junior doctors have staged a series of strikes in the long-running dispute about pay and conditions in the NHS in England. The latest talks to try to resolve the dispute took place last week and have been described as “constructive”.