Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion Green MP and councillors,
joined the Save Our NHS rally outside Tory office on Saturday 17 March.
Leading Greens from across the city joined campaigners outside the Conservative Association offices in Church Road, Hove, on Saturday 17 March, urging the city’s two Conservative MPs to persuade Parliamentary colleagues to oppose the Health and Social Care Bill in its final vote next week.
Monday 19 March will see the Bill’s final vote in Parliament which if passed will cause huge disruption and open the door to a privatised health service, say its opponents.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, and Green councillors including Rob Jarrett, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health on Brighton & Hove City Council, joined campaigners at the ‘Kill the Bill’ rally at 3.30, starting from Hove Town Hall, urging Simon Kirby, Tory MP for Brighton Kemptown, and Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, to change their minds.
Caroline Lucas MP said, “Despite hollow government assurances and some cosmetic changes to the Health and Social Care Bill in recent weeks, the reality is that its main purpose – to vastly increase the commercialisation of the NHS – remains intact.
“The government has no mandate for any of this, from the voters or in the Coalition Agreement.
“We must now join together to force the Prime Minister to drop the Bill.
“I call on everyone who is opposed to it to join me at the protest outside Hove Town Hall at 3.30pm on Saturday, so that we can make our voices heard.”
Councillor Rob Jarrett said, “This Bill isn’t privatisation by stealth, it’s privatisation in broad daylight.
“Our concern isn’t for the politicians or business leaders who are pushing for a privatised NHS.
“Our concern is for the patients, carers and healthcare workers who daily make the NHS one of this country’s defining institutions, and who face immense upheaval and suffering as a result of the Bill.
“We urge the city’s two Conservative MPs to join Caroline Lucas in opposing the Bill for the good of the city.
“If they do, they will join eminent company including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of General Practitioners – the latter the very professionals who the Government says should be commissioning health services locally.
“We urge Mike Weatherley and Simon Kirby to think again before it is too late and put patients, carers and the country first.”
Greens say the Bill proposes a much more complex NHS structure, and, rather than giving power to local GPs, it creates confusion about individual bodies’ roles and responsibilities – and a crisis of accountability.
The Bill also makes provision for charging, and removes the statutory duty to provide public health services for children, smoking cessation services, alcohol and drug services and a raft of other crucial services.
For more information please contact Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.
More details of rally at: