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Ealing and Northfield

Labour’s Cllr Withani can’t tell it straight – again

Labour’s Cllr Hitesh Tailor is one of the more nakedly partisan voices in the Ealing Labour ranks. He is not beyond bending the truth, telling half truths and exaggerating. He is unfailingly unpleasant with it.

This tweet is typical of his work. All local politicians are angry about the wholesale closures of 4 local A&Es proposed by NHS North West London. Local Conservatives, both Ealing & Acton MP, Angie Bray, and the local councillors’ group on the council, have consistently argued against the closure of A&Es and the removal of clinical services from all of our hospitals. Indeed I attended the first cross party campaign meeting last Thursday, chaired by Labour GLA member Onkar Sahota, and am due to attend the next session tomorrow.

You might think reading Tailor’s tweet that Angie Bray has gone off message. She hasn’t. Tailor is either lying or he just doesn’t know what is going on.

On Monday night there was an Opposition Day motion on the NHS. It read:

That this House regrets the growing gap between Ministers’ statements and what is happening in the NHS; notes mounting evidence of rationing of treatments and services by cost, despite Ministers’ claims to have prevented it; further regrets the increasing number of cost-driven reconfigurations of hospital services, despite the Coalition Agreement’s promise of a moratorium on changes to hospital services; further notes growing private sector involvement in both the commissioning and provision of NHS services, contradicting Ministers’ claims that the NHS reorganisation would not increase levels of privatisation; recognises that, according to the Government’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses figures, actual Government spending on the NHS in 2011-12 fell by £26 million, the second successive real-terms reduction in NHS spending, following a reduction of £766 million in the Government’s first year in office, in breach of the commitment in the Coalition Agreement; believes the Government’s decision to reorganise the NHS has distracted its focus from the financial challenge, with seven out of 10 acute hospital trusts in England missing savings targets in the first half of 2011-12; calls on the Government to take action to prevent rationing by cost in the NHS, based on the evidence presented; and further calls on the Government to honour pledges on NHS spending in the Coalition Agreement, and the commitment that future savings will be reinvested into the NHS front line, and to return at least half of the underspend to the Department of Health budget.

It was the kind of motion that no government MP was going to back and it got voted down by 303 votes to 228 and Angie was one of the 303. During the actual debate the Ealing situation was mentioned but Ealing was not the point of the motion.

It does get hard to work on a cross-party basis if your partners are going to misrepresent you at every turn. Please stop it Cllr Tailor.

If you want to know what Angie Bray thinks here are the extensive comments that she made at the Westminster Hall debate on West London NHS Services held on Wednesday 11th July.