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Elton John World News: Elton Blasts British Prime Minister on AIDS Prevention

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I'm disgusted with the way the health service in England is operating

Monday 20 May 2002 @ 23:11 - GMT

Elton , one of Tony Blair's most prominent show business supporters, said the British prime minister should be "thoroughly ashamed" of his government's record on AIDS prevention.

In an interview with Sky News broadcast Monday, the flamboyant entertainer said he was "disgusted" with what he saw as a failure by Blair and the government to do more in the fight against AIDS.

"They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. I hate to say that, because I did vote for them, but I'm disgusted with the way the health service in England is operating," said Elton whose own AIDS foundation has funneled 24 million pounds into treatment and prevention over the past decade.

Globally about 25 million people have lost their lives to the disease. "We (in Britain) had a great record on AIDS when we started but that record is now not as good as it was under the Thatcher government. You should be ashamed of yourselves -- you're socialists or supposed to be," he said referring to Blair and his Labour government.

"For God's sake, we live in the 21st century -- the trains don't work, the health service doesn't work, people are dying from AIDS, what are you doing? Get your ac! t together, it's a disgrace," he said on the sidelines of the Vienna Life Ball, one of Europe's biggest AIDS charity galas where he performed on May 19, 2002

A spokesman for the Department of Health said claims by the singer that less money was being allocated for AIDS were not correct. "All HIV work is now within mainstream NHS spending. It is not separated out as it used to be," he said adding "you cannot say spending has fallen, it is not worked out like that."

Watch now the video HERE

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