‘Were I Andrew Lansley I would resign over this issue.” So claimed Mike Hancock, Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South when presented with a ‘Save Our NHS’ petition by local anti-cuts campaigners, health workers and trade unionists.
Hancock, who sat on the committee which scrutinised the government’s bill to cut and privatise the National Health Service, was unable to answer why the Health Secretary of his government had failed to consult the public during the recent ‘listening exercise’, and was presented with evidence that the original consultancy process had been stage managed to avoid dissent from health workers.
The campaigners also demanded a full public enquiry into Andrew Lansley’s connections to the private health companies which stand to profit from the proposed bill.
While Hancock wished to distance himself from the bill, and the policies of his Government, he is no politician of principle; having achieved the rare political hat trick of having defected from Labour to the SDP to form the Liberal Democrats before being the first MP to appear on national news to praise the coalition agreement with the Conservatives.
The campaigners are following this event with petitioning of Tory MPs Penny Mordant of Portsmouth North and Caroline Dinenage of Gosport while building up to the launch of a new ‘Save Our NHS Portsmouth’ campaign, which is backed by the City’s Trades Council, to stand against all cuts and privatisation to the National Health Service.
Campaign Launch Meeting: Thursday 23rd June, Portsmouth Central Library, 7.30pm
More Info: SaveourNHSportsmouth@gmail.com
Picture Credit: Sarah Standing/Portsmouth News (112021-8056)