Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for the Department of Heath and Social Care, was caught lying on the campaign trail in Warrington about local Labour MPs’ efforts to lobby the Government for a new hospital in the town. During a campaign visit to Warrington Hospital yesterday (December 5th), Hancock told reporters that he “did not hear from” Labour’s Faisal Rashid or Helen Jones about the need for a new Warrington Hospital while they were MPs during the last Parliament. Faisal Rashid had written to Hancock as recently as October to make the case for a new hospital in Warrington, urging his Government to “invest in a new, all-purpose hospital facility in Warrington”.
In fact, Faisal Rashid and Helen Jones had repeatedly raised the need for investment in a new hospital for Warrington during the last Parliament. Faisal Rashid publicly backed calls for a new centrally located and state of the art hospital for Warrington in April last year, following a meeting with the Chair of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust. Helen Jones raised the urgent need for a new hospital for Warrington in Parliament directly to the former Health Secretary in June last year.
In Government, the Conservative Party have repeatedly failed to allocate any funding for new NHS infrastructure in Warrington South. With parts of the current hospital facility more than 100 years old and essential maintenance costing around £2 million a year, it has become a huge challenge to run an efficient and effective hospital facility. Local Conservative candidates have drawn criticism for their nonsensical election “campaign” for a new Warrington Hospital, despite repeatedly being told by Conservative Ministers that the party will not be allocating funding for a new hospital in Warrington.
Faisal Rashid, Labour’s Candidate in Warrington South, said:
“Matt Hancock told reporters that he ‘did not hear from’ me about the need for a new hospital in Warrington, despite my letter to him just two months ago making the case for exactly that. Is the Health Secretary incompetent or just lying? I will leave that to the voters of Warrington South to decide.
“The truth is, you can’t trust the Tories with our NHS. I have been campaigning for a new hospital in Warrington for years, not just during election season to win votes. Labour have earmarked £15 billion for new NHS hospitals – we are the only party committed to rebuilding our NHS after a decade of crippling Tory underinvestment. The people of Warrington deserve better than austerity and dishonesty. A Labour Government will be on your side.”