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Healthcare axe committee' chairman canvasses for party against the cuts

PUBLISHED: 15:42 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 25 August 2010

THE chair of a committee which decided to slash healthcare has been canvassing for a party which marched against the cuts.

THE chair of a committee which decided to slash healthcare has been canvassing for a party which marched against the cuts.

Michael Chuter, the Chair of the Joint Committee of PCTs which decided to slash Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup (QMS) of its A&E and maternity unit, was out canvassing for the Liberal Democrats last weekend for the East Wickham by-election.

But the Liberal Democrats, including their Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick and their Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Simon Hughes, protested against the cuts in March at a rally in Sidcup.

One East Wickham resident said: "I went on the march to save our hospital earlier this year.

"Now it turns out their opposition to cutting the hospital services is just as much as a sham as the consultation on the hospital that Mr Chuter has engaged in.

"I saw him from my window leaving my property carrying a stack of those dreadful Liberal Democrat leaflets. I immediately recycled mine. His face is known to all of us who have tried to support QMS."

Mr Chuter said he has spoken with the party's London organisers for the Mayoral campaign and gave them the 'clinical reasons' for the reason things 'had to change' at the hospital.

He said: "I wasn't able to convince them. I still believe the changes are the right thing to do but that doesn't stop me from looking also at local democracy. I can't promise something I can't deliver as I am prevented by my duty of care.

"I have huge sympathy for politicians as because they do have to stand for election.

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