Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for claiming Stephen Hawking is wrong in the row about the government’s seven-day NHS plan.
In the speech, Hawking will accuse the #health secretary of “cherrypicking” favourable evidence while suppressing contradictory research to suit his argument.
Hunt tweeted: “Stephen Hawking is brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence 4 weekend effect.”
The shadow health minister, Justin Madders, weighed in on the row: “It doesn’t take a genius to work out the Tories are wrecking the NHS.
“Professor Hawking has given us answers to many of the universe’s most challenging questions, and even he can’t work out why Jeremy Hunt is still in his job.”
The former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “A renowned scientist such as Stephen Hawking questioning your evidence might normally be cause to think again, but sadly it looks as though Jeremy Hunt has joined the chorus of those who have had enough of experts.
“It’s easy to accept evidence when it supports your ideological view of how a service should be provided, but we see this government ignoring the evidence time and time again when it suits them, be it on the NHS, our school system or leaving the single market.”
Social media users, including many doctors and scientists, mocked Hunt for taking on the “world’s most famous scientist”.