Health Secretary Steve Barclay has criticised junior doctors, accusing them of "walking away" from talks over pay and conditions.

The British Medical Association (BMA), the union representing many doctors, has scheduled a five-day strike in July and is demanding a 35% pay rise to restore their wages to 2008 levels.

The BMA has also accused the government of refusing to negotiate a deal.

However, Mr Barclay stated that junior doctors had "refused to move" during previous talks and it was they who had walked away and called for further strikes, Sky News reports.

This follows previous strikes that took place in March, April and June.

Bournemouth Echo: There is a five-day strike currently planned by junior doctors for JulyThere is a five-day strike currently planned by junior doctors for July (Image: Lucy North/PA Wire)

The BMA claims that pay has decreased by over a quarter since 2008 when factoring in inflation, making the 5% offer on the table far below what is needed.

They also argue that doctors are burnt out from excessive workloads.

Mr Barclay disagreed with the BMA's demand for a 35% pay restoration, stating that it was not affordable given inflation and other economic pressures.

Steve Barclay admits 'both sides need to move'

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Mr Barclay said the upcoming strikes were "hugely concerning", with thousands of appointments and pre-planned operations set to be disrupted.

He put the blame at the door of junior doctors and the BMA, saying they were the ones refusing to negotiate.

Bournemouth Echo: Steve Barclay has called the upcoming strike this month hugely concerningSteve Barclay has called the upcoming strike this month hugely concerning (Image: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Mr Barclay said: "We have [talked to them], we had three weeks of talks… the department agreed to bring in an intermediary," he said. "But not withstanding [the intermediary's] excellent work, the discussions that we had with the junior doctors to date, they have refused to move from a 35% demand.

"I don't think that in the context of the wider economy, [with] the need to get inflation down, that is a fair demand."

He conceded that "both sides need to move" to reach an agreement, and claimed the government were "willing to do so", but without the strikes being called off there was little room for negotiation.