The Tory candidate for a key Ealing seat has pulled out of a hustings and threatened legal action against her Labour rival over a row on Ealing Hospital.
Joy Morrissey, candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, will not attend a hustings at Acton's St Mary's Church in protest on Tuesday evening (May 30).
She claims Labour rival Rupa Huq, gunning for re-election, has lied on campaign leaflets, including statements Ealing Hospital is closing, Mrs Morrissey voted to close Ealing Hospital and Mrs Morrissey is a "Hard Brexit Activist"
Mrs Morrissey said the hospital is not set for closure, instead changing to a local hospital, and voted against the council motion Dr Huq is referring to because it repeated this claim.
She denied saying she was a "Hard Brexit Activist", claiming she never campaigned for leaving the EU and only made a decision close to the vote.
On May 23, Mrs Morrissey's team wrote to Dr Huq's team asking her to retract the statements within 48 hours or they would take legal action.
She claims Dr Huq did not reply, and issued her with the intent to take legal action over the claim about Ealing Hospital.
Mrs Morrissey said: "I have no complaint about the normal cut and thrust of political debate.
"However, when my opponent publishes blatant lies about me in an attempt to fool the public, I cannot let it go unchallenged.
"The untruths she has been perpetrating are not matters of opinion, but matters of fact."
A spokesman for Dr Huq replied: "It was entirely predictable that the Tory candidate would refuse to attend local hustings given her record on the NHS and Brexit.
"She did vote against the Save Our Hospitals campaign and she did campaign for Brexit.
"These are facts on the public record and she cannot run away from them no matter how hard she tries.
"Her campaign alleges that Ealing Hospital is not closing despite the NHS openly saying that there will be no district general hospital in our borough."
What is happening to Ealing Hospital?
In July 2015 Ealing Hospital lost its maternity ward, before its children's ward closed the following year.
According to London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, it is not closing but will instead change 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.
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