Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson has apologised to a doctor after he made a “misleading” social media post about him.
The MP for Ashfield said he wanted to offer his “sincerest apologies” to Dr Tom Dolphin for “any distress caused” by his post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He has agreed to pay £1,870 into the British Medical Association’s (BMA) strike fund to “compensate the upset I may have caused”.
On Sunday, Mr Anderson tweeted: “On October 6 2023 I shared a link on X to a Mail Online article entitled ‘Militant union leader at the heart of doctors strikes is a Labour activist who boasted of charging the NHS for a strike cover shift’.
On the 6th October 2023 I shared a link on X to a Mail Online article entitled ‘Militant union leader at the heart of doctors strikes is a Labour activist who boasted of charging the NHS for a strike cover shift. I accept that my words were misleading as the subject in question…
— Lee Anderson MP (@LeeAndersonMP_) November 5, 2023
“I accept that my words were misleading as the subject in question, Dr Tom Dolphin, was not on strike on the date of the shift in question but was simply covering a shift as a consultant for junior doctors who were on strike on August 11 2023.
“I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to Dr Dolphin for any distress, upset caused.
“I will also like to add that I understand that Dr Dolphin actually donated his pay for the covered shift which I believe was £1,870 to the BMA strike fund and, whilst I do not agree with the strikes, I want to go on the record to say that I think it is a very unselfish act on the part of Dr Dolphin to put his money into something he strongly believes in.
“I will make the same contribution to compensate the upset I may have caused Dr Dolphin. Please repost.”
Doctors have been repeatedly misrepresented by the government during this industrial dispute so it's good that these false claims about @thomasdolphin have now been corrected.
We are grateful to Mr Anderson for his contribution to our strike fund.
Please repost. https://t.co/ntmXMpfXMu
— The BMA (@TheBMA) November 5, 2023
Mr Anderson, a presenter on GB News, appears to have deleted the tweet from October 6 that he has apologised for.
Dr Dolphin tweeted: “A very gracious apology, thank you Lee Anderson.
“Thanks also for the donation. I hope it inspires others to donate to the strike fund as well.”
The BMA shared Mr Anderson’s tweet and posted: “Doctors have been repeatedly misrepresented by the Government during this industrial dispute so it is good that these false claims about Dr Thomas Dolphin have now been corrected.
“We are grateful to Mr Anderson for his contribution to our strike fund.”
According to the BMA’s website, its strike fund is available to subsidise members in serious financial difficulty who, following a first round of strike action, could not otherwise afford to take part in any future rounds of walkouts.
Junior doctors have staged a series of strikes in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions in the English NHS.