Rebecca Blake, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate said “I will not be scared into silence by veiled threats by the Conservative MP. The NHS is too important to simply stand by while this government undermines it”.
The Conservative MP, Mrs Lumley wrote to Rebecca stating she was currently taking legal advice about Rebecca’s statement that the MP had systematically voted against the NHS.
Rebecca said “As the person who would like to be the next Labour MP for Redditch it is my job to let local people know the difference between a Labour government in May or another five years of the Conservatives.
The Conservative MP should at least try and defend her record and let the people decide in May, instead she prefers to try and scare me into silence on something as important as the NHS. Well, it will not work, I will continue to repeat that the Redditch MP has systematically voted against the NHS.
Firstly, by supporting the Health & Social Care Bill that wasted £3 billion on a damaging NHS reorganisation that has led to over 4,000 NHS staff being laid off, many of whom were rehired in six-figure salaries. The Bill puts profits before patient care and Labour will start to unravel this Bill on its first day in government.
Secondly, I wrote to the MP at the time asking her not to vote for Clause 119 which allows the Secretary of State to close hospitals in deficit – Worcestershire Acute Trust is in deficit and this could see the rug pulled from under the Alex, which so many people are fighting hard to defend. Top down, finance led, hospital closures should not be supported and to do so does not support the Alex or the NHS.
When she has voted she has not supported the NHS and even failed to turn up to vote to protect the NHS from competition law – the NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill. While some of her decent Conservative colleagues did vote to protect the NHS from further opening up to the private sector, she did not show up.
The NHS is a number one issue for me and many of the people I speak to in Redditch on a daily basis. People rightly want to know what a Labour or a Conservative Government would do on the NHS. The MP will not scare me into silence on the NHS, it’s too important to simply stand by while this government undermines it. We need an MP who will stand up for the NHS and its time this town had one.'