Merton Council leader accuses MP of betraying hospital

MP Stephen Hammond

MP Stephen Hammond

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Merton Council will debate a motion accusing the Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond of a "betrayal" of St Helier Hospital.

Mr Hammond voted in favour of Clause 119 in the Care Bill on Tuesday, March 11.

The controversial clause gives the health secretary new powers to close hospitals like St Helier Hospital, regardless of opposition from the community.

Now the Labour-led council has put forward a motion stating they are "appalled" at the Tory MP's behaviour.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of the council, said: "Stephen Hammond has betrayed St Helier Hospital and he has betrayed local people. "He and his Conservative colleagues should be ashamed of themselves for putting our hospital at risk like this."

A sign heralding a promised £219m redevelopment of St Helier Hospital outside the front entrance was taken down on Saturday, March 1, raising concerns the hospital will be downgraded.

Mr Hammond's office said they are working on a full response to the motion, which they will release on Monday.

The council will debate the motion on Wednesday, April 2.

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