A LOCAL resident, made anxious about the future of cancer care by an email from my local Labour parliamentary opponent, has shared their feelings with me for comment.
I was outraged to read that Councillor Bassam Mahfouz has been scaremongering by accusing the Conservative Party of planning to scrap the target of two weeks between cancer diagnosis and an appointment with a specialist. This serious misrepresentation needs to be nipped in the bud:
A Conservative government will not stop cancer patients from seeing a specialist within two weeks. It is essential that cancer patients are seen quickly - and they will be under our NHS reforms.
But speed is not all that matters. They also need top quality treatments. For example, under Labour, many new drugs, which are widely available in other European countries, are not available here. That's why we have said we will measure our performance on improving cancer survival rates, rather than just looking at waiting times.
Moreover, Mr Mahfouz is clearly confused about his own party policy. His email then goes on to promise a further reduction of the two weeks to one week between diagnosis and appointment. But he is muddling this with an unfunded suggestion that the time taken in the first stage between cancer tests and diagnosis should be one week.
The government has failed to identify funding for this, and it is therefore an uncosted and misleading promise, desirable though it would be.
It is really depressing that, before the election campaign proper even starts, my Labour opponent is already using scare tactics to frighten voters, rather than discussing the real issues.
If anyone else gets one of these misleading emails from the Labour Party, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to deal with them personally.
For the record, in case the next email from Mr Mahfouz attempts to frighten voters further by accusing Conservatives of planning to end free bus passes, the winter fuel allowance and free TV licences for the elderly, let me again state categorically that all of them are fully supported by the Conservative Party.
ANGIE BRAY Conservative parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central and Acton