Campaigners to deliver NHS petition to MP candidates

People from the Leeds Central constituency will deliver a ‘Save Our NHS’ petition signed by local people to their MP candidates this Saturday (25 April 2015).

Photo; Clare Bell via Creative Commons (cropped)
Leeds General Infirmary and Civic Hall Photo: Clare Bell via Creative Commons (cropped)

The petition will be handed over on the front steps of Leeds Civic Hall in Millennium Square by Peter Haughton, a member of independent campaign group 38 Degrees from Beeston, and other members of 38 Degrees. So far, Hilary Benn (Labour) and Michael Hayton (Greens) of the six MP candidates for Leeds Central have agreed to attend.

It calls on the MP candidates to do everything they can to protect the NHS from funding squeezes, privatisation, and the TTIP trade deal if they’re elected.

Peter Haughton, a 38 Degrees member from Leeds who’s helping to organise the event said: “Having petitioned in Clarendon Wing, LGI, recently I felt so reassured that virtually all the NHS staff passing by were very eager to sign up for this petition.

“The thought that the NHS is to become a profit-making organisation is unimaginable to me – and yet, alarmingly, that process has already begun. It needs to be stopped – now. I’m sending the message – protect our NHS from privatisation and funding freezes – to every MP candidate standing in Leeds Central. Out of all the six invited candidates who are standing for Leeds Central, two of those six, so far, have agreed to meet on the day.

“We invite anyone in Leeds who cares about having a public NHS that’s there for all of us when we need it, to come and join us at the Leeds Civic Hall this Saturday at 3:00pm.”

David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees said: “We’re sending a clear message to our local MP candidates: you’re being watched by hundreds of us, and we all want you to protect the NHS.

“Politicians can’t sit on the fence about the NHS. If they want our votes, they need to promise to keep the NHS safe from private companies and funding freezes. We won’t stand for another five years of the NHS being broken up or squeezed to breaking point.

“Saturday’s petition delivery event is all about the people of Leeds Central telling our next MPs exactly what we want for our NHS.”