Earlier today I spoke and voted for my colleague Clive Efford’s Bill to reverse the Coalition’s privatisation of the NHS. Fearing they could not get enough Government MPs to vote it down, Tories and Lib Dems stayed away, but almost every Labour MP attended rather than spending Friday on constituency business and so the Bill passed its first hurdle by 241 votes to 18. Over 500 constituents have written to me in support of Clive’s Bill so far, thanks in large part to 38 degrees excellent campaign.
I am one of ten MPs sponsoring the Bill, which means my name appears on the face of it.
Clive’s speech was one of the best I’ve heard in the Commons, and I got my own opportunity to raise the dire situation in west London. Since the closure of Hammersmith and Central Middlesex we have been transformed into the worst performing part of the NHS.
"I am very pleased that my name appears on the Bill as one of its supporters because nowhere is it more apparent than in west London what the Tories mean for the NHS. Two A and E departments closed, and within weeks up to a third of patients were not seen within four hours at A and E. Does my hon. Friend agree that unless we get rid of all this Tory legislation, the NHS will not survive?"
You can read the rest of my interventions and the full debate here.
Last night I spoke to hardy NHS campaigners at the start of their all-night vigil in support of the Bill.
Earlier in the week I spoke on the NHS crisis in a public debate at the Commons with Clare Gerada, former head of the Royal College of GPs and GLA member for Ealing Dr Onkar Sahota. The hospital closures in west London are fast becoming the number one example of Government NHS failure.