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General Election: Row over NHS and Ealing Hospital continues after Tory candidate Joy Morrissey's blog post

Conservative candidate Joy Morrissey has hit back at Labour's Rupa Huq after she criticised her blog post on the NHS

A row between two Ealing candidates over the borough's hospital has intensified after a blog post written by the Tory challenger.

Ealing Central and Acton Tory candidate Joy Morrissey previously wrote people should stop calling the service "our NHS" and "treating it like religion", reports Mirror Online .

In January 2016, she wrote on blog called Conservative Way Forward: "The broader truth is that a Conservative government could guarantee every patient the gift of eternal life and send them home with a complimentary pot of caviar and it still wouldn't be enough.

"It will never be. But can we at least stop playing into the Labour narrative?

Conservative candidate Joy Morrissey (left) and Labour's Rupa Huq (right) are embroiled in a dispute over Ealing Hospital

"Stop treating a valuable public service like a religion that can only be spoken of in a hushed tone of reverence rarely heard outside of the Vatican.

"We can begin by desisting from the glutinous and now obligatory practice of referring to 'our' NHS.

"For every member of the public that has bought into Labour's fetishisation of this institution there is an equally large and silent number that haven't.

"They do not gaze at the NHS with uncritical awe - and neither should we."

On Tuesday (June 6), the constituency's Labour candidate, Rupa Huq, called for Mrs Morrissey to apologise over the comments.

Dr Huq said: "This confirms what we already know.

"The Tories won’t protect Ealing Hospital because their candidate looks at our NHS with derision.

"She should apologise for these offensive remarks."

In response, Mrs Morrissey said: "That NHS article was written two years ago.

"Rupa Huq has had it in her files for two years - yet somehow managed to save her mock outrage until three days before the election.

"The piece was specifically titled 'The Final Countdown' to draw attention to Labour’s endless deadlines and scaremongering regarding the NHS.

"A tactic they have used yet again to mislead the public in Ealing at this election.

"Only this time they have been found out.

"They have had to retract the blatant lies they published about Ealing Hospital in their election literature.

"My record on health in Ealing is clear - I helped saved the Solace Centre, a crucial mental health facility, campaigned for more GP surgeries in the area.

"I will always fight to protect our local hospitals but I refuse to use them as a political tool, unlike my Labour opponent."

According to London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, Ealing Hospital is not closing but will instead change from a district to a local hospital under a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

It means some of its services will be reduced, with an increased aim on treating patients at or closer to home.

Under the STP pans, 500 "acute beds" will be lost across west London to avoid a £1bn budget gap.

The plan was formally published after Mrs Morrissey's blog post last year.

It follows a bitter row in which Mrs Morrissey threatened legal action over claims made by Dr Huq on Labour leaflets.

Mrs Morrissey claimed Dr Huq told her and others she would withdraw the leaflets, but Dr Huq denied this to getwestlondon .

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