Conservative Parliamentary Candidates have been ordered to not sign pledges to defend the NHS from trade deals and privatisation.
This is despite nearly a million of you signing our petition to keep Donald Trump’s hands off our NHS since we launched it in the summer and our findings that over half of the public are concerned about the impact a trade deal could have on the NHS.
In the Conservative HQ briefing notes leaked to The Guardian newspaper, Candidates are told not to sign any pledges to: “protect our NHS from trade deals with new legislation which ends privatisation”.
This sounds suspiciously like a reference to our latest campaign which asks people to write to their MP to do just that.
Not only does the briefing go on to deny that the Conservative Party wants to increase privatisation of the NHS, it also states that candidates are welcome to support shooting!
Poor record on the NHS
The privatisation of the NHS is a sore point for the Conservatives who came under huge criticism just two weeks ago when they blocked a ‘motion of regret’ to protect the NHS from being sold off in any future trade deals. Introduced by Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth the motion was defeated by a margin of just 28 votes, despite the Liberal Democrats abstaining. Keep Our NHS Public’s response to the amendment highlighted how the Conservative Party’s behaviour demonstrates that the NHS is not safe in their hands.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly failed to protect the NHS, and only last week the Government was the focus of revelations UK ministers had discussed the potential role NHS and drug prices in future trade deal negotiations.
Protecting the NHS from privatisation
Our latest petition, launched along with We Own It, calls on MPs to take the pledge to protect the NHS from further privatisation with strong new legislation. So far a number of prominent MPs including John McDonnell and Caroline Lucas, have taken the pledge. You can ask your local parliamentary candidates to take part too.
If you want to help us beat the Tories every step of the way through this General Election, then head over to our General Election 2019 campaign centre to find out what you can do.