If there’s one thing that winds me up, it’s MPs who have a wonderful ability to forget the recent past and absolve themselves of any responsibility.
So when Yvette Cooper turns up blaming ‘cuts’ for the proposed closure to Pontefract Hospital’s A&E Department I was particularly incensed, given I spent months shouting about the issue - it was front page on the election leaflet I delivered to every home across Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford; I raised it at every public meeting I spoke at;and I spoke to the local media about it. It holds a special significance for me, because I was born in Pontefract Hospital.
I warned that the range of facilities at the new Pontefract Hospital meant it was all but inevitable full A&E services would not continue. This was dismissed as ’scaremongering’ by Yvette’s team. For her to now claim to be on the side of those of us who have seen this coming for years is not only disingenuous but downright offensive.
I repeatedly highlighted the warnings passed to me by staff that the new hospital was not going to have a range of facilities essential for running a full A&E. No acute care beds, no emergency ambulance bays, no morgue.I asked whether we had been misled over the new A&E, while Yvette didn’t even think the new hospital worthy of a mention on her election address. (Below)
And heaven forbid we ask who the Junior Health Minister was at the time the new hospital plans were being finalised? Yes, one Yvette Cooper.
Every decision made concerning Pontefract Hospital was taken under a Labour government. From the grossly expensive PFI deal that has seen parikng charges rocket to the lack of ambulance bays and facilities essential to running a full A&E, there is only one thing Yvette should be saying today and that is sorry.
So, today is the one week anniversary of the expenses story. i wonder if anyone is having a cake? (apart from the telegraph’s management, as I imagine they’ve sold quite well over the week)
Today saw the first two major disciplinary events - one from the Government, and one from the Opposition.
The Conservative MP interests me, as his situation bears quite close similarity to my MP, Ed Balls. He’s married to another MP, and both he and his wife claimed second home allowances. Yet, in theory, their housing requirements are not that different from a single MP who has a family - still needs a London and Constituency home, and so on.
Andrew Mackay resigned - so here is my question: What about Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper?
They have been strangely absent from media coverage to date, despite last year’s furore over their expenses when it emerged they had been under investigation for four months.
Today I emailed Ed, as one of his constituents, to ask “that you expedite a full and frank publication of your expenses and in doing so can offer your constituents the transparency needed to restore trust in politicians.
I would also ask that you do not, and can indeed confirm you have not, sought to inhibit the publication of your expenses (or those of your wife) through legal avenues.”
As yet no reply, but let’s see what happens!
Bit of extra info - Balls and Cooper claimed exactly the same ACA in 07/08-£12,219 each. They also claimed £38,017 in incidental costs between them. Obvious question is going to be which home they both designated ‘main’ (though I think that will have been sorted in last year’s investigation) so if there is a story, it will be about what they have bought, and where the £38k in incidental expenses went.
Posted: May 14th, 2009
Tags: ed balls
, nick pickles
, yvette cooper
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