Matt Hancock, a man who seems to become more like Alan Partridge with each passing day, has appeared on BBC Breakfast and attempted to clarify the government’s policy on the 50,000 nurses pledge once again. And once again he’s made very little sense.

Speaking live on television, Hancock said:

Every year at the moment, around 27,000 nurses leave the NHS. I want to reduce that number. Even if we didn’t have any new nurses, just by reducing the number who leave, you would end up with more nurses in the NHS. That contributes. That retention of existing nurses contributes to increasing the number of nurses in the NHS and that’s very important.

Also, we’re going to have new nurses and the combination of increasing retention, which means fewer nurses leaving and having more new nurses, including with our bursary today. So if you’re watching and you want to become a nurse and don’t think at the moment you’ve got the financial resources to do it, we are putting in place that extra support, on top of all the existing support.

The combination of reducing the number of nurses leaving and having new nurses coming through – that leads to an increase in the total number of nurses in the NHS, which is what matters from my point of view running the NHS and from a patient’s view for ensuring that there is patient care and that there are enough nurses on the ward.

Read that initial statement again. “Even if we didn’t have any new nurses, just by reducing the number who leave, you would end up with more nurses in the NHS.”

Now imagine a similar statement made by Diane Abbott and what the reaction might be.

It seems the rules are different for men like Hancock.

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