Protesters challenge MP Penny Mordaunt over NHS privatisation fears outside Lakeside North Harbour Portsmouth

PROTESTERS gathered outside Penny Mordaunt’s office at Lakeside North Harbour over NHS privitisation fears.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 3:01 pm
Updated Monday, 20th September 2021, 3:26 pm
Protesters outside 1000 Lakeside on September 17 in an NHS protest lobbying Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Freddie Webb

A group was campaigning against the NHS Health and Care bill and approached the Portsmouth North MP as she was walking to her office this morning.

Viola Langley, the organiser of the protest and supporter of the Just Treatment campaign, said the protest was to stand up for the NHS against influence from private companies.

'It's against the privatisation of the NHS and big corporations sitting at the table when contracts are given out,' she said.

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'I don't want Virgin or Serco sitting at the table.

'My doctor said to me “it's like working in a war-zone” and it made me feel very sympathetic for our NHS and I think we need to make sure it's it's free for everybody and not privatised.’

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Ms Mordaunt discussed the matter with the group and said the principles of the NHS ‘would not be up for grabs’.

Speaking to The News afterwards, the MP dismissed privatisation fears as ‘scaremongering for political ends’ and stressed that everyone she’s met in government cares passionately about the health service.

‘What matters is good quality patient care, accountability and the principles of the NHS being maintained,’ she said.

‘What we've just been through over the last two years shows not only how flaming crucial it is as a service, but our respect and love for it.

‘We've raised taxes, which is not a normal thing for a conservative government to do, so it shows we know we've got to invest and continue to improve patient care. ‘

Some of the protesters remained unconvinced after meeting the MP.

David Langley, 73 and a retired teacher, described the bill as ‘a creeping takeover’ and is frightened the NHS as he knows it will change for the worse.

‘It frightens me,’ he said. ‘I've had cradle to grave care under the NHS and I want that to continue for my children and grandchildren.

‘We can't nod through something that's business and profit orientated rather than people orientated.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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