MP for Buckingham contradicts Boris Johnson over hospital parking fees
The MP for Buckingham Greg Smith has cast doubt over the words of Prime Minister Boris Johnson by telling The Bucks Herald that parking at Buckingham Hospital will only be free for certain groups – not everybody.
On Wednesday last week the Prime Minister told Parliament that his Government had “ensured there will be a free hospital car parking for everybody who attends a hospital.”
Last October we reported that Buckingham Hospital was to introduce parking charges.
Since the Prime Minister's statement to Parliament deviates from the Conservative Party election manifesto, and keen to break the good news to the people of Buckingham, we contacted MP for Buckingham Greg Smith to ask if it was true what Boris Johnson had said.
Mr Smith first denied to us that the Prime Minister had said the above words, but it quickly became clear that the MP was unaware of the Prime Minister's most recent statement to Parliament that has since gone viral on social media.
Once we had assured Mr Smith that his boss had indeed promised free parking for everybody last week, Mr Smith replied: "Last week? Did he? OK well that's a change since the manifesto - I'm afraid I did miss that. I will look into that."
When we chased Mr Smith for a response later in the day he provided the following statement: "The Government is delivering on the Conservative manifesto commitment to ensure disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of sick children staying overnight and staff working night shifts will not have to pay for NHS car parking from April 2020."
We asked him to confirm that the Prime Minister had not told the truth, to which he replied: “You asked me to check the position. I checked it.”
We have it on record that we clearly asked Mr Smith whether or not the Prime Minister had been telling the truth. We did not ask him if the Government was delivering on the Conservative manifesto.
Lawyer and political campaigner Peter Stefanovic, who is from Buckingham, said to The Bucks Herald: “That statement came as quite a shock to millions of patients, families of patients and NHS staff, all of whom had been led to believe that Government policy was that only those in greatest need would be exempt from hospital parking charges.
“In fact only last October we heard that parking charges were to be introduced at our local Buckingham Community Hospital. The scrapping of hospital parking charges was of course Labour Party policy, not Conservative.
“I say enough is enough. We must start holding this Prime Minister to account for his statements to Parliament. Is there to be free parking for all at our hospitals as he clearly stated last week or did he, yet again, simply lie?”
For the latest information on car parking fees at Buckingham Community Hospital click here: Buckingham Hospital Parking Charges