Newspaper claims Labour's London Mayoral candidate has annual private check-ups
Ken Livingstone, the Labour candidate to be Mayor of London, has been accused of hypocrisy after it emerged that he uses private healthcare.
A spokesperson for the 66-year-old – who has in the past spoken out against the so-called “privatisation” of the NHS – told City AM he uses an “external provider” for annual check-ups.
“Like many people he has an annual check up from an external provider – if he ever needs to see a doctor for anything it is with his local GP, or with other NHS services,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.
According to City AM, at a lunch with political reporters in Westminster earlier this week, Livingstone said he had been having an annual check up for “ten years”, adding “I’m as fit as I’ve ever been”.
He added: “I’ve lost a stone on this campaign. I went for my annual medical and the doctor almost had an orgasm because I’m so fit. My heart, liver and kidneys, the whole lot are absolutely amazing.”
Livingstone has said previously that the people of London demand that their healthcare “should not be broken up, sold off or be privatised by the back door”.
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson, Livingstone’s Tory opponent and the incumbent Mayor, told City AM the admission was “yet another example of Ken Livingstone’s hypocrisy – saying one thing but does another”.
The admission comes just weeks after Livingstone was widely criticised for channeling his income through a company to reduce his tax bills, despite describing people who use similarly legal tax planning measures as “rich bastards”.