All political parties in Ealing have been working together to fight the closures of four local A&Es. It is hard to work like this sometimes when your fellow campaigners are prepared to tell lies about you.
Labour supports the campaign to oppose Tory Hospital closures and will continue to fight for local people.
They clearly fear the Conservatives locally as they don’t bother mentioning the LibDems and think it is somehow insulting to refer to my party as Tory rather Conservative. They really believe in the power of words these people.
The last bit is fine – it doesn’t differentiate Labour as all of the local parties are on the same page on this issue. The first bit is the lie. The reconfiguration is arguably a Conservative/Liberal Democrat one in that the doctors and the health service bureaucracy proposing the Shaping a Healthier Future proposals are publishing them and consulting on them whilst Coalition government is in power. But, the whole exercise was kicked off under the Labour government and is often referred to as the Nicholson Challenge. The idea of the Nicholson Challenge is that in order to be able to provide new services in an era of constrained overall health service expenditure, existing services need to take £20 billion of savings out of their existing cost base. Hence the slightly confusing situation where the government says it is protecting health spending (and it is) but services are changing anyway. I would argue that Labour’s Nicholson Challenge policy was sensible, and indeed the Coalition has accepted it, but that the response to Nicholson chosen in North West London unfairly impacts our borough and a more equitable solution needs to be found.
Ironically Labour have used this picture in their leaflet. It dates back to the 2012 London Mayoral campaign and was taken on a day when both Ken Livingstone and Labour health spokesman Andy Burnham visited Ealing hospital. Of course it was Andy Burnham as Health Secretary who instigated the Nicholson Challenge which might usefully be called the Burnham Challenge. So Labour are calling their own policy “Tory hospital closures”. How easily they lie.
The MP for the Southall half of the Ealing Southall constituency has been peddling this lie since the general election. Sharma knows it was a Labour policy but still he carries on.