Andrew George MP: “Winning Concessions for the NHS: Not for Political Parties”

Posted on: 27th May 2011

Andrew George MP calls for an end to the NHS political armwrestlingThe Liberal Democrat MP who has taken a leading role in campaigning against the Government’s health policy since it was first announced last summer has called on his colleagues to concentrate on what is best for the NHS rather than party political advantage.

Andrew George, who roundly criticised the Government’s White Paper last July and has refused to support the Health and Social Care Bill is also a member of the Commons Health Select Committee. In response to news reports that a backbench Tory MP has issued “red lines” on health reform which he claims the Tories should not concede to the Liberal Democrats, Mr George said:

“We are seeking concessions for the NHS; not for party political advantage.

“This is about saving the NHS from a disastrous piece of legislation; a Bill which would ultimately destroy the central planks which have made the NHS a success. To interpret this as party political arm wrestling misses the point. A number of Tory MPs share the same concerns about this Bill.

“I urge my colleagues not to get sidetracked by this attempt to divert an important debate on the NHS into rather pathetic looking macho politics.

“I have spent 10 months opposing Government plans. It doesn’t bother me whether I’ve had to fight my Party leadership or find myself fighting alongside them. The future of the NHS is more important than a few transient headlines about the outcome of a bit of political arm wrestling.”