Hospital Dr News

Doctor calls for support to unseat Jeremy Hunt in the General Election and save the NHS

Labour and Liberal Democrat activists have united with the Green Party with the aim of unseating Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the General Election.

Hunt, MP for South West Surrey before Parliament was dissolved, is facing a challenge from Dr Louise Irvine, leader of the National Health Action party.

Dr Irvine, who took 8.5% of the vote when she contested the seat in 2015, has been backed by the Lib Dems, Labour and the Greens as a progressive alliance candidate.

The Progressive Alliance movement seeks for progressive parties across the country to tactically unite behind a candidate who has the best chance of defeating the Tories.

Dr Irvine successfully led a campaign that defeated the Government in court in 2012 over its attempts to downgrade casualty and maternity units.

She said: “I know from my volunteer role as Chair of the campaign to protect Lewisham Hospital that Jeremy Hunt can be beaten. In Lewisham we defeated him twice. We took Jeremy Hunt to court to save my local hospital services. We won. He took us to the appeal court. We won again.

“Jeremy Hunt then changed the law to stop anyone saving their services that way again. I want to be elected to do my best to stop laws like that being passed, to fight to defend our NHS, and to work towards a fairer politics.”

During a meeting organised by the South West Surrey Compass group over the weekend, the Green Party announced it would withdraw its candidate for the South West Surrey seat.

Hunt has represented the South West Surrey constituency since 2005. He was re-elected in 2015 with 34,199 votes, a majority of 28,556 over Ukip’s Mark Webber who received 5,643 votes.

Executive member of the Labour Party Steve Williams commented: “Jeremy Hunt is a deeply unpopular MP amongst many of his constituents who hold him responsible for the current sorry state of the National Health Service.

“He is now facing a serious challenge from a highly capable and articulate GP who is well accustomed to taking on Jeremy Hunt and fighting for keeping our National Health Service as a high quality, well-funded public service, providing world-class healthcare for all, free to the user at the point of use.”

Dr Irvine has turned to crowd funding in order to raise the money needed to run an election campaign.

She said: “Members of the local Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have publicly agreed to support me, not their own candidates. The Green candidate has stood down for me. I am moved, humbled and excited by the way people are coming together for a principle greater than any one party.

“Across the country, people know we must save the NHS, and we start by removing Jeremy Hunt from Westminster. With your support we will beat him. But to have the best chance of success, we need your help. Please give whatever you possibly can today.”

Click here to contribute to her election campaign.

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