Lee Anderson, the Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party, has apologised and paid compensation over comments he made on Twitter on 6 October 2023. He had alleged that Dr Tom Dolphin had boasted of being paid a large sum of money for a strike cover shift. In a statement, Anderson said:
“On October 6 2023 I shared a link on X to a MailOnline 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, 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.”
Responding to Anderson’s statement, Dolphin stated:
“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 issued a statement noting:
“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.”