Diane Abbott visits Surbiton to rally against NHS bill

Diane Abbott visited Surbiton last week to meet local Labour party campaigners and rally against the NHS reform bill.

The Shadow Minister for Public Health and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, met her Labour peers outside Surbiton Library, on Ewell Road, before going to Edward Davey’s constituency office on Berrylands Road. 

Ms Abbott said: “The reason we’re campaigning against the National Health Service reform bill is, we think at the heart of the bill is a wish by the Tories to bring more private sector companies into the health service.

“We also think the bill is a waste of money> It will cost at least £3bn.”

Ms Abbott said she wanted to put pressure on Edward Davey, Kingston and Surbiton MP, to vote against the bill in parliament when it is brought to the House of Commons for a vote. 

Mr Davey, who was recently appointed to the cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change will have to vote with the government in favour of the reform bill, in line with collective cabinet responsibility otherwise resign from his cabinet role. 

Ms Abbott said: “Ed Davey has to choose between his job and the people of Kingston and Surbiton and he needs to remember, without the people of Kingston and Surbiton, he is not an MP, he doesn’t have any type of career. 

“What happens to his position in the coalition cabinet, I don’t know but he should do the right thing. Because there have been MP’s who have failed to support campaigns against hospital closures and have lost their seats as a consequence and it could happen to Ed Davey.” 

Chris Priest from New Malden, Labour party member and former Labour councillor in the Canbury Ward, said: “We have been taking round a petition against the bill to people on the doorstep and it’s very easy to get residents here to sign it. We collected in excess of 500 signatures for a petition that we took to the London council last year.” 

Despite the misgivings of some residents, Kingston Council gave its full support to the bill in a meeting earlier this year. 

But Ms Abbott said: “This legislation is in parliament so the council at this point is neither here nor there. It is about what MP’s do in parliament.”

Concerns about the bill have been raised by medical organisations like the British Medical Association and The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Ed Davey has not responded to contacts from Kingston Courier. 

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