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Leeds KONP activists protest against the Health and Social Care Bill

Around 30 Leeds health workers and residents, as part of Leeds Keep Our NHS Public, protested in City Square today against the government’s Health and Social Care Bill which goes through parliament this week. The bill will remove the duty of the government to provide a national health service and introduce further privatisation of the NHS.

A Leeds Socialist Party member

It goes to vote this week on the back of revelations that senior officials in the Department of Health have been discussing with international companies to take over the management of 10-20 hospitals. As Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health commented at the weekend “Any MP who votes for the Health and Social Care Bill next week is voting for the end of the NHS”.

Passers by queue to sign our petition against attacks on the NHS

Despite the extremely strong wind we gave out over 2,000 leaflets and held a short protest chanting “Andrew Lansley hear us say, NHS is here to stay” and other slogans. A Socialist Party stall attracted quite a lot of attention from passers by who signed petitions against the governments counter-reforms as well as the National Shop Stewards Network petition calling on the TUC to organise a 24 hour public sector strike against the cuts.