On Saturday 3rd September, activists from Leeds Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) lobbied Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds North-West Constituency, at his surgery in Headingley calling on him to vote against Tory minister Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Reform Bill. It took part alongside other events called by NHS campaigners and trade unionists across the country to oppose the bill which reaches its report stage and third reading in parliament in the coming week.
Iain Dalton, Hyde Park & Headingley Socialist Party
Leeds KONP oppose the bill on several grounds, it proposes to remove from the Secretary of State the ‘duty of care’, which means the government would no longer have a legal obligation to provide a health service. The bill also opens up the health service to further fragmentation and privatisation, pushing it more in the direction of a US-style health service. This follows on from previous attacks on the health service from the previous Labour government.
All of the 120 postcards that Leeds KONP produced were filled in by constituents calling on Mulholland to vote against the bill, alongside others passing by who signed our petitions. Unfortunately, Mulholland, as Kate from Leeds KONP explained, “is still sitting on the fence. He’s involved in several ammendments that he says will address our concerns but he won’t agree with us that the whole bill should be scrapped.”
Leeds KONP will hold a protest on Tuesday 6th September in City Square from 4.30pm onwards, ahead of the bill being discussed in parliament.