Labour attack Portsmouth South MP over NHS bill

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LABOUR has repeated its ‘flipflop’ attack on Mike Hancock over his stance on the government’s health and social care bill.

In an election leaflet the local party claimed that despite publicly condemning the reforms the Portsmouth South MP didn’t vote against them when he had the chance.

The Lib Dem dismissed the allegation as ‘absolute rubbish’ and said he was bound by convention to abstain as he had chaired a committee which scrutinised the bill.

In the leaflet, Labour wrote he had ‘failed to deliver a consistent line on the reforms’ because he had claimed he would vote against them in a final vote.

Portsmouth Labour chairman John Ferrett said he stood by his party’s position, saying it was backed up by an email Mr Hancock sent to a constituent as the NHS reforms were making their way through parliament several months ago.

In it he wrote: ‘I am free to vote on the Bill when it returns to the Commons as the convention on co-chairs does not apply when the Bill comes back from the Lords.’

Responding to the claim the MP said he had made a mistake in the email.

He said: ‘At the time I thought it was right. The only mistake I made was not going back to everyone to correct it.

‘If I had been given the chance to vote against the bill I would have.’