Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has the green light to start privatising the National Health Service, according to Owen Smith.
The Labour leadership candidate accused the Tory government of secretly dismantling parts of the NHS and handing them over to the private sector.
Department of Health (DH) figures show the amount spent on private sector health services has more than doubled to 7.6 per cent of the NHS budget since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.
Mr Smith said: “It is now clear that Theresa May has given Jeremy Hunt the green light to start privatising our health service.
“Within days of his reappointment as Health Secretary he had officials drawing up secret plans to privatise the NHS. Like many families across Britain my family is relying on the health service at this very moment.
“The NHS is our country’s most valued institution, and people will be shocked to hear that the Tories have been putting together a secret plan to privatise it.
“We all rightly contribute to the NHS through our taxes, but we must make sure that money is spent on doctors and nurses, and not lining the pockets of private sector shareholders.
“It just goes to show you can’t trust the Tories with our NHS. Under their rule it is in crisis yet again, with waiting lists growing and hospitals dangerously understaffed.”