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Wednesday 25th April 2012 | 06:00
Labour press release
As Londoners increasingly make up their minds about how to vote next week Ken Livingstone has put the Tories’ attacks on Londoners living standards and their threat to the NHS centre stage in the election.
The Conservative Mayor, Boris Johnson, has failed to keep his promise to stand up for the NHS.
Labour’s candidate pledged today to use the powers of the Mayor’s office to campaign for a better deal from central government for Londoners, and rally against Tory onslaughts on living standards and public services.
If elected next week Ken Livingstone will be campaigning Mayor, who stands up for ordinary Londoners on issues from NHS reform to Tax Credit cuts - issues the Conservative Mayor has stayed silent on.
He said: “This is a Labour or Tory choice on issues affecting Londoners like the NHS. Labour values or Tory ones when it comes to protecting public services and the health of Londoners.”
Ken will use a visit with Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, to Ealing hospital to highlight Boris Johnson’s broken promises and failure to stand up for London against Tory cuts.
The hospital faces an uncertain future thanks to Tory broken promises. In his manifesto Boris Johnson promised to “Support local health services by campaigning against closures and fighting to save local GP services" however he has failed to act. Despite Tory promises before the election that if they got into power there would be no more A&E closures, the Conservatives have refused to rule out the closure of services at Ealing Hospital when asked to do so by local MP Virenda Sharma. Labour’s London Assembly candidate for Ealing & Hillingdon, local GP Onkar Sahota has been leading a local campaign to fight cuts.
The NHS is just one in a long list of issues where Boris Johnson has failed to stand up for London. Whilst he has been unrelenting in his campaigning for a tax cut for the richest 1% he has remained silent on at least 20 issues of huge importance to the lives of ordinary Londoners, including cuts to Sure Start; the VAT increase; record levels of unemployment in London; increased rail fares; and cuts to tax credits.
Today Ken will sign up to Labour’s five national pledges to protect the NHS in London. He will also pledge to appoint a London Health Commissioner and use his £15 million health budget to do what he can to prevent the damage the Tory-led Government is doing to London’s NHS.
Ken Livingstone said:
“This is a Labour or Tory choice on issues affecting Londoners like the NHS. Labour values or Tory ones when it comes to protecting public services and the health of Londoners. I will use the powers of the Mayor’s office to do all that I can to prevent the Tory onslaught on living standards and public services. Be it defending the NHS, reinstating EMA for London or fighting the granny tax, I will ensure that Londoners are better off with Labour.”
Andy Burnham said:
“Londoners deserve a mayor who will promote Labour values to protect the NHS and defend ordinary Londoners from the damage the Tories are doing. Boris Johnson has broken his pledge to fight NHS closures and has let Londoners down. Only Ken Livingstone will stand up for ordinary Londoners on everything from the NHS, to record unemployment, to tax credit cuts.”