The Conservatives have dismissed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's new pledge to axe hospital car park charges across England as not being "worth the paper it's written on", in a statement released on Monday 8 May.

"With Corbyn in charge of our Brexit negotiations, the economy and our NHS would be at grave risk. There would be less money to spend in hospitals, not more," a Tory spokesman said.

The reaction comes just around an hour after Labour promised to make parking at NHS England hospitals free for patients, visitors and staff. The £160m ($207m) annual cost of the policy would be funded by hiking the rate of Insurance Premium Tax to 20%, Corbyn claimed.

"Labour will end hospital parking charges, which place an unfair and unnecessary burden on families, patients and NHS staff. Hospital parking charges are a tax on serious illnesses," he said.

"Our hospitals are struggling from under-funding at the hands of Theresa May's Conservative government, but the gap should not be filled by charging sick patients, anxious relatives and already hard-pressed NHS staff for an essential service. Our NHS needs a Labour government that will stand up for the many, not the few."

But despite the Tories attacking Labour over the policies, Prime Minister Theresa May described the charges as "unhelpful" in a 2008 post on her personal website relating to a hospital in her Maidenhead constituency.

"I am still strongly opposed to the introduction of car parking charges at St Mark's [Hospital]," she said.

"They are being brought in against the will of hospital staff, local residents and the people of Maidenhead who use the community hospital. I am particularly concerned about the effect this could have on roads around the hospital and will continue to work towards the abolition of these unhelpful charges."

The revelation comes with just a month to go before the general election on 8 June. The latest ICM poll, of more than 2,000 people between 3 and 5 May, gave the Tories an 18 point lead over Labour (46% versus 28%).

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's national election and campaign coordinator, told IBTimes UK: "In 2008, May opposed hospital car parking charges. Today, the Conservative Party has attacked our policy to scrap hospital car parking charges, proving yet again that you can't trust a word May and the Conservatives say.

"After seven years of failure and broken promises from the Conservatives, it's time for a Labour government that serves the many not the few."

May's website
Screenshot of May's website