By Tim Hardy
Ken Livingstone is to make the Health and Social Care bill a campaign point in the fight for Mayor of London, putting Boris Johnson in the embarrassing position of having to either speak out against his party on a sensitive issue or swallow the inevitable damage to his already ailing campaign.
“The NHS Bill threatens to have a hugely damaging effect on London. The capital has more nurses, doctors and hospitals than any other part of the country and Tory plans to push through this unnecessary, unwanted, wasteful reorganisation of our NHS.
‘I’ve not met a single Londoner who thinks the NHS bill is a good idea. As the Tory candidate Boris Johnson won’t speak up for London on this issue, I will.”
It’s easy to dismiss this as opportunism from Livingstone but it’s a very helpful development in the campaign to kill the bill.
Green Candidate Jenny Jones has been vocal in support of the campaign from the beginning
The coalition government’s persistence with this legislation demonstrates a contempt for both the health service and the democratic process. These changes run absolutely against expert and popular opinion and if introduced will jeopardise the manner in which healthcare is provided across the country.
With two of the main three candidates now calling for the NHS to be protected from Lansley’s chaotic reforms, the pressure is mounting in an election that Cameron has claimed is his top priority for 2012.