A newly formed political party has announced six prospective candidates for the May local elections.

The Keep Our St Helier Hospital Party (KOSHH Party) intends to confront what members believe to be the biggest issue facing Merton and Sutton residents - the future of St Helier Hospital.

Candidates include a consultant radiologist at St Helier Hospital, a school governor and concerned residents.

Dr Tiz North, who will be running in Sutton South, said: "It is so important that we defend all the services at St Helier Hospital - A&E, maternity, children's services, renal, everything.

"It would be a disaster for all patients and for the local community."

The announcement comes after Councillor Oonagh Moulton, leader of Merton Conservatives, and Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond claimed the battle to save St Helier has been won.

Sandra Ash, a retired tutor and Save St Helier campaigner, will be standing against Coun Moulton in Wimbledon Park.

Mrs Ash said: "We want to raise public awareness of this threat to St Helier Hospital and the whole community - it needs to stay on the political agenda.

"It is for that reason that I have decided to stand as a candidate for the Keep Our St Helier Hospital Party."

A sign heralding the promised £219m redevelopment of the hospital was recently taken down, raising concerns proposals to downgrade the hospital are still on the table.

The prospective candidates:

- Dr Tiz North, consultant radiologist at St Helier Hospital and former clinical director for diagnostic imaging for Epsom and St Helier. (Sutton South, Sutton)

- David Murray, IBM worker and school governor. (Wallington South, Sutton)

- Frances Cornford, Sutton resident (Sutton West, Sutton)

- David Ash, Merton resident (Raynes Park, Merton)

- Sandra Ash, retired tutor (Wimbledon Park, Merton)

- Dave Ash, Sutton resident (ward to be confirmed, Sutton)

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