The world-renowned and much-loved physicist was embroiled in a fierce authorized battle with Well being Secretary Jeremy Hunt over a shake-up of the well being service he had condemned.
Professor Hawking was additionally a lifelong Labour supporter, though he known as for Jeremy Corbyn to step down earlier than final 12 months’s common election – saying: “I regard Corbyn as a catastrophe.
“His coronary heart is in the correct place and lots of of his insurance policies are sound, however he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist. I feel he ought to step down for the sake of the social gathering.”
Nonetheless, at an election occasion in his residence metropolis of Cambridge, the scientist additionally mentioned: “I’m voting Labour as a result of one other 5 years of Conservative authorities can be a catastrophe for the NHS, the police and different public providers.”
The Labour chief tweeted his tribute as we speak, saying: “Stephen Hawking impressed the world together with his dedication to elucidate the mysteries of the cosmos. However he additionally confirmed breathtaking braveness to beat life’s adversities and a burning ardour to guard our Nationwide Well being Service. He might be tremendously missed.”
The disagreement with Mr Hunt blew up over the creation of accountable care organisations (ACOs), bringing most of an area space’s NHS providers beneath one funds, run by a single organisation.
Critics worry they are going to be a “Computer virus” for better privatisation, their suspicions aroused as a result of they’re modelled on identically-named well being organisations within the US.
Final 12 months, Professor Hawking accused the Conservatives of duty for the NHS’s deep issues, by ravenous it of money – and Mr Hunt of misrepresenting analysis findings to make his case.
“I’m involved that accountable care organisations are an assault on the basic rules of the NHS,” he warned.
“They haven’t been established by statute, and they look like getting used for decreasing public expenditure, for chopping providers and for permitting non-public corporations to obtain and profit from vital sums of public cash.”
He joined an ongoing marketing campaign for Excessive Courtroom judges to grant a judicial evaluate to cease the Authorities and NHS England bringing in ACOs with out correct scrutiny by Parliament.
In response, Mr Hunt described Professor Hawking as a “private hero” to him however insisted he was flawed to assert the NHS was heading in direction of a “US-style insurance coverage system”.
On Twitter, the Well being Secretary accused him of creating arguments with a “lack of proof” later criticising the scientist was spreading “pernicious falsehoods”.