I FIND the recent criticism of South West Ambulance Service by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP astonishing - there can be no better illustration of rank hypocrisy (‘’Atrocious’ service after two-hour wait’, County Gazette, July 8).

The time is long over due for Mr Liddell-Grainger and our other local Conservative MPs to reflect on the underlying causes of a failing ambulance service.

Between 2009 and 2019, NHS budgets rose on average by just 1.4% per year, compared to the 3.7% average rise since the NHS was established.

READ MORE: Somerset MP criticises 'atrocious' ambulance service response
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This funding shortfall has been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic, growing staff shortages, creeping privatisation, and, more recently, unprecedented government cronyism, which has seen billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money wasted on substandard support services delivered by companies run by friends of cabinet ministers.

I suggest Mr Liddell-Grainger apologise for his scurrilous attack on the NHS and acknowledge his culpability in this entirely predictable crisis.