The Labour Party in Blackpool: Blunkett under fire on hospital closures

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The Independent Online
David Blunkett, Labour's health spokesman, faces a battle with some London MPs over plans that the party should offer less than blanket opposition to the coming closure of up to 20 hospitals in the capital, writes Nicholas Timmins.

A confidential draft policy paper to be discussed with London MPs in Blackpool today says the evidence is 'now overwhelming that there is a need for the reorganisation and reallocation of resources in London'. There has to be recognition that 'the status quo is no longer an option', it adds.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, said: 'There is going to be a dispute about this. It is a very dangerous approach. It is not on that the Labour Party should be saying that we are going to allow further closures in London.'

Brian Sedgemore, MP for Hackney South, whose constituents use St Bartholomew's, one of the hospitals allegedly earmarked for closure, described the paper as 'a sell- out'. He said: 'There will be blood on the floor before this battle is over'.

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