THE boss of the region’s ambulance service has been pulled up by an MP for earning more than Prime Minister David Cameron.

Anthony Marsh, the chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, took home up to £190,000 in pay in 2010/11.

Mr Marsh is responsible for overall management of ambulances covering Worcestershire and the West Midlands region.

He was taken to task over his earnings in a phone call by the Shropshire MP David Kawczynski.

The MP was giving his account of that conversation to parliamentary colleagues who were debating excessive pay among public sector workers.

But the service has defended Mr Marsh’s earnings pointing out that it was, until 2006, run by four equally well-paid bosses before all the services – including Hereford and Worcester’s – were merged into a single region-wide organisation.

They say the cost of employing the four chiefs was up to £420,000 in total and the merger is now saving the taxpayer the difference in those salaries.

Speaking in Westminster Hall, the MP told colleagues that he had quizzed the ambulance chief after volunteer first responders raised concerns about the high levels of pay in the service.

“I called Mr Marsh to ask how could he justify earning that staggering amount,” said Mr Kawczynski.

“He said that he does a very important job and yes of course he does. Running the trust is a very important job.

“But I conveyed to him that it was no more important than the job of the prime minister. Why should any public sector employee be paid more than the prime minister who has a huge amount of responsibility.”

An ambulance service spokesman said: “This trust is one of the most efficient in the country and there has been a significant cost saving made in regard to chief executive salary since the merger.”