Cigar-loving Therese Coffey admits she didn’t think it was right to BAN parents from smoking in cars with kids as Health Secretary claims she didn’t know law changed seven years ago – and her ALARM blurts out again (but at least it’s not Dr Dre this time!)
- Dr Coffey says outlawing smoking in cars with children was not ‘the right thing’
- She voted against the law change in 2015 brought in by David Cameron
- Health Secretary plans to U-turn on No10’s pledge to tackle tobacco smoking
Health Secretary Therese Coffey today claimed the rule-change to outlaw smoking in cars with children was probably not ‘the right thing to be doing’.
Dr Coffey made the controversial statement as it was revealed she plans to U-turn on the Government’s pledge to unveil an action plan to tackle tobacco use.
The cigar-puffing Liz Truss ally said she voted against the law change in 2015 because she didn’t believe in telling parents what to do.
Health Secretary Therese Coffey (pictured yesterday at Women of the Year Lunch & Awards at Royal Lancaster Hotel) today claimed the rule-change to outlaw smoking in cars with children was probably not ‘the right thing to be doing’
Cigar-smoking, karaoke-loving MP Therese Coffey became the third Health Secretary in as many months in September
Asked by LBC’s Nick Ferrari why she voted against the rule change, she said: ‘Oh probably because I didn’t think it was the right thing to be doing, to be telling parents how to handle the situation.’
Pressed on whether she thinks it is right to smoke with children in the back, Dr Coffey said she couldn’t recall whether the law changed but thinks it ‘probably did’.
She added: ‘I’m not getting into necessarily prescriptive… we want a positive prevention programme in the future.’
Asked again if she thinks it is right to smoke with children in the car, she said: ‘Well I think I don’t know what the law says today, I’m a democrat Nick.
‘I think the law did get changed [so that] people shouldn’t be smoking in cars. You’re asking me something a decade ago, I’m not quite sure why it’s relevant now.’
It comes after Dr Coffey approved 10 new community diagnostic centres (CDCs), as the hubs passed the milestone of delivering more than two million tests, checks and scans.
The new centres will be rolled out across England, including the Isle of Wight, Burnley in Lancashire and the Medway region in Kent.
Based in community settings such as shopping centres and football stadiums, the hubs are designed to reduce Covid backlogs by speeding up diagnoses.
The centres house a range of equipment, including MRI, X-ray and ultrasound scanners and offer services including blood tests and heart rhythm monitoring.
Once referred by a GP, pharmacist or hospital, patients can access CDCs in their area and get symptoms checked out.
The one-stop shops, backed by £2.3billion in government funding, have delivered more than two million tests, checks and scans since July 2021.
The Government has prioritised rolling out up to 160 of these centres across England by 2025 to help reduce Covid backlogs – there are currently 92 operational CDCs.
Other new CDCs will be in Warrington, Cheshire, Dudley in the West Midlands, Newmarket in Suffolk and Rotherham in South Yorkshire.
Dr Coffey said: ‘My number one priority is delivering for patients and we’re getting on with the job of tackling the issues that affect people most – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists.
‘Today I’m announcing the approval of 10 new community diagnostic centres which are helping to bust the Covid backlogs by delivering vital tests, checks and scans in local areas.’
Ms Coffey added that the Government was ‘on track to open up to 160 centres across the country by 2025, delivering an additional 17 million checks’.
Vin Diwakar, NHS medical director for transformation, said: ‘We know that rapid diagnosis saves lives, and it is great news that more of these centres have been approved to provide checks and scans in the heart of local communities, making services more accessible and convenient while also helping to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions.’