Promised Brexit cash could pay for hospital
Hemel MP Mike Penning has been told to back up the Brexit campaign's claims '“ by ensuring money saved from EU contributions helps to build a new hospital for West Herts.
Last week a triumphant Mr Penning welcomed the referendum vote which will see the UK quit the European Union.
But the official Brexit campaign promised that leaving the EU would save Britain £350million a week which could be spent on the EU – and he is now being called in on the pledge.
The petition says: “Hemel Hempstead hospital has been downgraded for many years and patients are forced to travel to Watford.
“Conservative-controlled Herts County Council had the chance to object to the decision to downgrade the hospital and refer the decision to the Secretary of State, but they chose not to.
“Mike Penning MP has made the hospital an electoral issue in every election since 2005 but nothing has changed. He didn’t openly campaign for Leave but he said that leaving the EU would be better for Britain.”
Although Hemel Hempstead has a hospital it lost its A&E department in 2009, forcing patients to head to Watford in an emergency.
The facilities at Watford – and the difficulty of getting there – have long been criticised by patients.
A new campaign began this year, calling on health bosses to build a new hospital, equidistant from Hemel, St Albans and Watford.
Mr Penning said that he welcomed anything which would boost the chances of a new hospital.
He added: “It’s lovely if Labour have suddenly started taking an interest in the hospital that they closed. And I’d welcome money from any source if it would provide us with a new hospital for West Herts. We want the hospital that the people of Dacorum deserve.
“What’s obvious is that leaving the EU means there will be more money for the Chancellor to spend here rather than sending abroad.”