Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter has slammed David Cameron for accusing him of not telling the truth about the closure of Charing Cross Hospital.
The Prime Minister was accused by the MP of making a ‘bizarre flying visit’ to Hammersmith yesterday and attacked comments he made to getwestlondon regarding the hospital, Heathrow expansion and housing.
Mr Cameron visited Hammersmith and Fulham's Conservative party headquarters in Greyhound Road for about an hour to show support for the borough’s Conservative councilors in next week’s local elections.
Mr Slaughter, who has been Hammersmith’s MP since 2010, slammed the Prime Minister for not taking the time to meet any residents.
Charlie Dewhirst, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for 2015, speaking after the Prime Minister’s visit, said the visit was ‘very smoke and mirrors’ because they had not much prior warning he was going to visit the borough, but added he was very honoured for the support.
Reacting to this, Mr Slaughter said: “The description of Cameron’s visit seems fairly apt as ‘smoke and mirrors’ in my dictionary defines as ‘someone that deceives or distorts the truth’.
“I am not surprised that Cameron avoided meeting any of my constituents as his policies on the NHS, Heathrow and housing are universally unpopular here. But if he had taken the trouble to talk to local residents he would have found just how wrong his statement was last week in Parliament that they support the closure of A&Es and demolition of Charing Cross. In fact 100,000 people signed a petition against cuts to the local NHS.”
Mr Cameron accused the MP of not giving the true facts about Charing Cross, saying the hospital would retain its A&E services and that ‘it will still be a very good hospital’.
But Mr Slaughter, who has fought hard with the Save Our Hospitals campaign, says all 500 emergency beds, intensive care, A&E consultants and the ‘country’s best stroke unit’ would go, leaving only GPs, treatments and planned surgery on site.
The Prime Minister also spoke about Heathrow, putting his faith in the Howard Davies Airports Commission, which Mr Slaughter said represents a significant softening of Conservative Party policy on the airport as before 2010’s general election, Mr Cameron told west London residents groups that ‘the third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts’ .
Yesterday, he praised the Conservative council for releasing £88m from high value council houses but Mr Slaughter claims he is out-of-date and the sale of 307 council houses by auction has so far raised £132 million with none of them being affordable to people on moderate incomes as their average cost is £420,000.
He also said 300 families have been left without a permanent home as a result and some of the sales proceeds are being used to empty council flat blocks to demolish them and build luxury homes.
Mr Slaughter added: “ We told the truth at the last elections in 2010 and we are telling it now. Cameron and the Hammersmith and Fulham Tories want to wreck our NHS and make Hammersmith unaffordable to anyone but speculators and millionaires. The reason he loses elections here is because of his out of touch policies. I’m grateful for Mr Cameron coming to remind Hammersmith residents why they should vote Labour next Thursday in the Council and European elections.”
The local and European elections in Hammersmith & Fulham take place next Thursday, May 22.