Ilford North's Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Wes Streeting, blogs on the latest show of hypocrisy from our local MP...
Last night, Members of Parliament voted in favour of a clause in the Government's Care Bill that will give ministers the power to close local hospital services without consultation with NHS professionals or us, the public. And Ilford North's Tory MP, Lee Scott, was one of those who voted for it.
The hospital closure clause - Clause 119 - was rushed into law because campaigners in Lewisham had mounted a challenge in the courts to stop this Government from closing their local hospital services and they won. As a result, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made it possible for ministers to close hospital services within 40 days without any consultation with this new law.
What is most astonishing about this turn of events is that Ilford North's MP voted for it. Given the financial pressures facing our local NHS Trust and the recent report from the Care Quality Commission that sent the Trust into special measures, Redbridge is particularly vulnerable to top-down closures. The Tories have already closed maternity at King George Hospital and A&E is set for closure in 2015.
Lee Scott claims to be fighting hard for our local NHS, so why on earth would he vote for a measure that makes it easier for his ministers to close down local services?
It's quite straightforward: Lee Scott has put his party whip before his constituents' interests. He has done this many times before.
I will be reminding people about Lee Scott's voting record at the next election and reminding them that, if I had been Ilford North's MP, I would have voted against Clause 119 last night. Whoever is in government, I will always put Ilford North first.
Wes Streeting is Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North