Footballer backs online NHS petition

 

Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has tweeted his support for Labour's campaign to stop Government reforms to the NHS.

The Premiership football star, whose mother worked as a nurse, took to Twitter to back a mammoth online petition against the coalition's controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

Ferdinand tweeted: "Great work guys in crossing 100k for petition to Save NHS. Keep pressure to get 250k so sign."

His endorsement of the Drop the Health Bill petition to his two million followers on Twitter, was quickly picked up by Labour - but not without a hitch.

Ed Miliband tweeted back, "Thanks for support on £dropthebill. I give you my word, if they go ahead, this will be a defining issue of the next election."

But the Labour leader, whose football allegiance lies with the player's former club, Leeds United, initially spelt the name of Ferdinand's account as "riofredy5" instead of the correct one "rioferdy5".

The spelling error was too much for some tweeters, who deluged Miliband's twitter account heaping scorn on his second "twitterfail".

Mr Miliband recently tweeted about the death of Bob Holness who he said would be remembered for his TV show "Blackbusters" - causing an eruption of derision.

The e-petition calling for the NHS plans to be scrapped has now reached 140,000 signatures, and is still climbing, which could force MPs to debate the issue in the House of Commons.

Mr Miliband today visited the Royal Bolton Hospital in Greater Manchester, accompanied by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.

Mr Burnham said Ferdinand's support was "fantastic".

"It's not about celebrity endorsPat Hurstement," he added.

"The message it sends is that this campaign is not a political campaign, it's about people from all walks of life who recognise that the NHS matters.

"I think it's brilliant that people of his stature make those statements and I think he's done the NHS a great service today."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing