Nick Clegg 'has broken his promises over hospital he vowed to protect'Kiran Randhawa, Health and Social Affairs Correspondent
18 Feb 2011
Kingston hospital was at the heart of the Deputy Prime Minister's election campaign, during which he vowed to protect services.
But critics say he betrayed voters after it was announced that almost 500 posts, including those of doctors and nurses, will be axed.
Mr Cameron also visited the south London site a month before the general election and vowed to "keep investing" in the hospital.
Virendra Sharma, a Labour MP on the all-party health select committee, said: "The Lib-Dems have betrayed their voters. During the election campaign they stood there promising extra resources for the health service.
"Ultimately, Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for broken promises." Shadow health secretary John Healey said: "Mr Cameron told the country before the election that he'd tell any cabinet minister making cuts to front-line services to go away and think again. It's him who should think again about his reckless plans for the NHS."
In April last year Mr Clegg, whose youngest child Miguel was born at Kingston, used the hospital as a backdrop for his campaign and said: "I'm going to use any power and influence to do anything I can to help the NHS, and do anything that stops anything that would threaten this maternity ward."
But NHS bosses have announced 486 posts at the hospital will go in the next five years, including 22 consultants, 214 nurses, midwives and health visitors, 55 scientific and technical staff and 140 non-clinical jobs. Kingston said the cuts were forced by an expected 25 per cent reduction in its budget.
Nora Pearce, a Kingston midwife and Unison steward, said: "The patients have been betrayed."
Health minister Simon Burns said: "The Coalition government will ensure that every penny saved will be invested back into patient services."
Also on this topic
One of these two will be publicly humiliated in May
'If you don't like Nick Clegg, say No to AV'
Lib-Dems slump in poll but Oldham voters’ grim mood could help Clegg
This is no time for ‘mainstream’ Tories to rebel
Lib-Dems will go it alone at the next election, promises Nick Clegg
And on and on the lies oozed from their stiffly smiling heads until one day....
- Steve, Brentford, 19/02/2011 21:15
The boys Goldsmith, Cameron and Clegg have categorically lied to their electorate over the NHS issue. Our present Government are raping democracy and we stand by and let the values we stand for - truth, integrity and honesty - be violated. Shame on you. We should all be out in the streets demonstrating, instead like couch potatoes we sit back, tweet and watch, as third world countries disgrace us by doing what we can't do - stand up for our beliefs!
- Grenville Mills, London, 19/02/2011 00:47
This is the face of coalition politics and you'd better get used to it if you vote for AV in the referendum suckers!!
- Steve, Brentford, 18/02/2011 18:53
Well, Tweedle Dim and Tweedle Con did promise us a new kind of politics before the election and at least they've delivered that... Lies, lies and even more lies.
- Jo, Kilburn, 18/02/2011 16:47
Dave No 1, London and G. Chinnor, Oxon.
I was beginning to despair, I thought that I was the only one that had "rumbled" what Cameron was about. I agree with both of you. I am a keen follower of British history and politics and no matter how much I try, I can find no Prime Minister who has been more blatant in his lies and broken promises than what he has been to date, there have been others who, over an extended term have made promises only to break them later but since the first day of taking office, there has not been one policy or promise that Cameron has not broken or disregarded. It is one thing for Clegg to break his promise about student fees, when he made that he thought that he had no chance of being in government and few, other than students would have voted for him because of this, Cameron however had every reason to think that he would form the government when these promises were made by him and millions voted for the Tories because of these policies and promises. The conclusion therefore that must be drawn from this is that when he made these promises, rather than making them in good faith, he had no intention of keeping to them. He gained office as a result of lies and it has now reached a stage where one can place no reliance on a single thing that he say's. Already, his government has no credibility and the Lib Dems are no better. Compromises have been made in both parties for purely power motives and principle, truth and integrity mean nothing to them.
- M. Clift., Worcester., 18/02/2011 15:20
The plan is for the coalition to front load all these cuts now so that by the time of the next election they can say they solved the debt problem and are now in a position to increase budgets by small margins again, hoping that we voters who notoriously have short term memories will focus on that rather than the vicious often thoughtless loss of services they put us through a few years before.
They could do all this at a slower more even rate with less pain but then they would still be cutting at the time of the next election and they feel that would affect their chances.
They are wrong in the speed of the cuts and the front loading and I despair at the short term attitude that all politicians have which puts their party votes interest above that of the nation.
- G, Chinnor, Oxon, 18/02/2011 14:05
In other news: bear defecates in forest and Pope announces his catholicism.
Politicians are full of empty promises whatever the party.
- Paul, IoD, London, 18/02/2011 14:03
He's broken his promise over everything else - why should this be any different?
- Dave No 1, London, 18/02/2011 11:45