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WATCH: Doctor hits back at Jacob Rees-Mogg after Brexit radio row

By Richard Guttridge | Sandwell | Politics | Published:

A doctor has hit back at Jacob Rees-Mogg after the Tory minister told him he should be "ashamed" over his warnings about a no-deal Brexit.

David Nicholl, left, has hit back at Jacob Rees-Mogg

David Nicholl, a consultant neurologist based at Sandwell Hospital, was accused of scaremongering by the prominent Brexiteer during a row on LBC radio when he suggested people could die if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

Dr Nicholl has been involved in planning for no-deal and wrote part of the Operation Yellowhammer mitigation report.

WATCH: Jacob Rees-Mogg Rows with doctor on air

But despite his medical expertise, he was blasted by Mr Rees-Mogg, the Brexit poster boy who was appointed Leader of the House of Commons in the new Boris Johnson Government.

Mr Rees-Mogg was asked "what level of mortality rate" he was willing to accept in light of a no-deal Brexit, suggesting medicine shortages could lead to deaths. The question irked the minister who labelled it the "worst excess of Project Fear" and said he was "surprised a doctor in your position would be fearmongering in this way", before accusing Dr Nicholl of being "deeply irresponsible".

The doctor told the Express & Star he believes he "rattled" the politician and since the radio interview he had been "overwhelmed by lovely people who have been appalled with his behaviour".

Dr Nicholl said: "The points I am making are deadly serious. I'm true in what I said. No report suggests a no-deal Brexit will be without harm. Every single professional body - the BMA, the Royal College of Nursing - is saying it is unsafe and dangerous and he didn't like being told that."

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He continued: "It really upset me. My career is about patient care and trying to reduce risk and to have someone smear me like that.. I 110 per cent stand behind every word I said in the interview.

"I'm not going to take lessons in neurology from Jacob Rees-Mogg."

Dr Nicholl said he has genuine fears about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the NHS.

He said: "I have no doubt it will cause harm. What I don't know is the scale. My question was what level of harm was he willing to accept? None of this 'bumps in the road' malarkey - what plans are in place to mitigate the bumps?"

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Mr Rees-Mogg has also faced criticism over his conduct in the House of Commons on Tuesday night.

He reclined across the front bench, leading to shouts of "sit up!" from MPs and an accusation of showing contempt for the House from the Green Party's Caroline Lucas.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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