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Boris Johnson's Canterbury hospital claim downplayed by Department of Health

The Department of Health has downplayed a claim that Kent is to get a new hospital.

It follows a day of confusion triggered by the Prime Minister when he told a Conservative party fringe meeting that Canterbury was among 40 areas expected to see a new facility.

KMTV's Harry Peet reports on the PM's announcement

The DoH acknowledged that while there was interest in a new hospital, no immediate plans were in the pipeline.

“The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary recognise the challenges facing acute services in East Kent including Canterbury, and the Department for Health and Social Care look forward to considering this and other bids in future hospital building rounds,” it said.

It added a second phase of new hospitals between 2025 and 2030 would include 21 new projects – delivering 34 new hospitals – would receive seed funding to kick start their schemes.

Other potential projects will also be able to bid into this wave.

In a statement posted on her Facebook page Canterbury's Labour MP Rosie Duffield said: "My day was thrown momentarily off-kilter when footage emerged of the Prime Minister announcing to Conservative Party activists that Canterbury would be one of the 40 sites announced over the weekend to benefit from funding for a new hospital.

"This certainly came as news to those of us who have long campaigned for fully funded hospitals across Kent, and who are now awaiting the launch of the public consultation phase on the future plans for provision for acute services in our local area.

"However, it now appears that this 'announcement' is just the latest in a long line of gaffes - from a Prime Minister who is fast gaining a reputation for being low on accuracy and high on bluster."

Labour's shadow health spokesman on hospital's Jonathan Ashworth was equally scathing, tweeting: "What a shambles the Johnson/Hancock hospital announcement has become.

What a shambles the Johnson/Hancock hospital announcement has become.

"Boris Johnson caught out lying about Canterbury getting a new hospital.

"It proves yet again you simply can’t trust the Tories with the NHS."

Rosie Duffield MP brands announcement 'irresponsible'

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