Jeremy Corbyn was left red-faced last night after he hailed Professor Stephen Hawking for attacking the Tories, despite him previously criticising his leadership of the Labour party.
The Labour leader praised the world-renowned scientist after he claimed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is moving the NHS towards a US-style insurance system.
During a visit to North Wales, Mr Corbyn said: ‘If Stephen Hawking is saying that our NHS is under threat and in danger and in crisis then I think we need to listen very, very carefully with what he has to say.
‘I admire Stephen and I agree absolutely with what he said.’
Jeremy Corbyn was left red-faced last night after he hailed Professor Stephen Hawking for attacking the Tories, despite him previously criticising his leadership of the Labour party
He added on Twitter: ‘The brightest scientist in the world has been compelled to intervene due to the @Conservatives failing our NHS. Thank you Professor Hawking.’
The Labour party also tweeted: ‘When one of the cleverest people on earth criticises you, how can you defend yourself @Jeremy_Hunt?’
However, Mr Corbyn was ridiculed by Tory MPs after it emerged Prof Hawking, a lifelong Labour supporter, had called on him to resign just months ago.
In March, the Cambridge academic said Mr Corbyn was a ‘disaster’ and should quit ‘for the sake of the party’.
He told The Times: ‘I regard Corbyn as a disaster. His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist. I think he should step down for the sake of the party.’
Tory MP James Cleverly posted on Twitter Labour’s praise of Prof Hawking alongside the scientist’s previous criticism of Mr Corbyn with the caption: ‘Seriously guys, you make this too easy.’
A war of words broke out between Prof Hawking and Mr Hunt at the weekend after he accused the Health Secretary of ‘cherry-picking’ favourable evidence while suppressing contradictory research in order to suit his argument for a seven-day NHS.
The 75-year-old, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1962 and said he ‘would not be here today if it were not for the service’, also suggested the NHS was at risk of privatisation under the Tories.
But the Health Secretary said: ‘Most pernicious falsehood from Stephen Hawking is idea govt wants US-style insurance system. Is it too much to ask him to look at evidence?’
‘NHS under Cons has seen more money, more docs and more nurses than ever in history. Those with private med insurance DOWN 9.4% since 2009!’