The number of GPs around Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's constituency has dropped, new research has revealed.

The news that the number of NHS GPs has dropped in North Yorkshire - which is taken up by a large part of Sunak's Richmond constituency - comes as the Prime Minister refuses to answer questions about whether or not he uses a £250-a-session private doctor in West London.

Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats from NHS data show that there were 247 fully qualified GPs in North Yorkshire in December 2016. By November 2022 the number had dropped to 239.

Read more: Rishi Sunak says healthcare at home rather than hospitals could ease NHS pressure

Although the number seems low, the average number of patients under each GP's care in the area has risen from 1,719 at the end of 2016 to 1,827 at the start of last year.

Daisy Cooper MP is the Lib Dems' health spokesperson, she said, “The public deserve a fully functioning NHS, not one that has been run into the ground for years.

"Rishi Sunak needs to come clean with the public over whether he uses private healthcare or not.

“He seems to be totally out of touch with the struggles people in his own constituency, let alone across the country, are facing when it comes to accessing a GP.”

Yesterday, Mr Sunak was criticised after he flew from London to Leeds to visit a GP practice. The visit took place amid more strikes by health care professionals this week, with Mr Sunak saying that he was "happy to talk about pay" with unions.

While appearing on the BBC's 'Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg' this weekend, Rishi Sunak refused to answer three times whether or not he uses a private GP.

Today, (Wednesday) Mr Sunak broke his silence on his personal healthcare, saying said he was registered with an NHS GP but told MPs he had used “independent” healthcare in the past. He has previously refused to answer questions about whether he had private healthcare, insisting it was “not really relevant”.


If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here

The Prime Minister will broadcast a message on BBC One and ITV1 this evening, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will do so next week.

Rishi Sunak's office was approached for comment.