Supporting our public services means supporting a strong economy

We are strongly committed to retaining and strengthening the NHS. Because of our strong economy and the leadership of Theresa May, Conservatives are able to support the NHS with £8 billion of extra money over the next five years. Under a Prime Minister with experience, surrounded by a team of other credible politicians, we are able to lock in our economic position and commit to that spending – more than either Labour or the Liberal Democrats are prepared to do.

The funding of our public services is dependent upon our retaining a strong economy – including a good Brexit deal, and founding new trade agreements with partners and emerging markets across the world (Conservatives, 30 May 2017, link) – rather than risking it all by voting for the shambolic leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, set on keeping us in the customs union, taxing businesses so excessively that they leave and take their jobs with them, and making hugely expensive other commitments like funding the entire cost of university for all students regardless of how wealthy they are.

In order to ensure that our NHS is reliably funded and competently managed, I am asking Darlington residents to help protect our local NHS services by voting for me and supporting Theresa May and her plan to build a better Britain and a country that works for everyone. To protect our public services, and ensure that the NHS really does get the funding it deserves, please vote for me, Peter Cuthbertson, and Theresa May on 8 June.

Our NHS needs the additional £8 billion

It will only still be able to provide the quality of service we need here in Darlington if we can be sure that it will receive proper funding, and if we can take back control of the pressures placed on it by unsustatinable levels of migration from the EU. Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate wants to remain within the customs union, and has argued to keep us in the single market, and she does not want to prioritise ending unskilled migration and free movement. She and Jeremy Corbyn also want to pay a huge £100 billion Brexit divorce bill that we don’t need to rather than walk away from a bad deal – that’s even less money available to spend on the NHS.

I campaigned last year for us to take back control of our money that we send to the EU, our borders, and immigration into our country. It’s a fact that the money we send to the EU is wasted and doesn’t come back to the UK. That’s money that we could be spending on our priorities, like the NHS – but that can only happen if we really leave, as we voted to do last year.

Even before we’ve left, Theresa May has committed to spend a further £8 billion over the course of the next five years – that’s the equivalent of 24 brand new, fully staffed NHS hospitals.

And after we’ve left the EU, there could be more – but that can only happen if we get the right Brexit deal (Conservatives, 30 May 2017, link). We need to leave the EU, and get a deal that ends unskilled migration to the UK and free movement, and does not keep wasting our money and our taxes by sending ever higher figures to Brussels as part of an expensive divorce bill that Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate here isn’t even wanting to stand up for Britain and negotiate over. We have been a net contributor to the EU for decades – so they should be paying us!

We can’t trust Labour and Jeremy Corbyn to deliver this good Brexit deal – but under the strong and stable leadership of Theresa May, I am confident that we can get a deal that works for everyone. We need to do this, to save our NHS.

I campaigned for us to Leave the EU because it is vital that we take back control of our money, stop wasting it by sending it to Brussels and reduce immigration if we are to be able to properly run the NHS

Labour lacks all credibility on the economy, which funds our NHS – and they can’t be trusted with that either

Jeremy Corbyn’s and John McDonnell’s spending plans have been heavily criticised by the IFS, while our commitments have been built on forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility and the budget delivered by our country’s current Chancellor, Philip Hammond. We are committed to spending £8 billion more on the NHS in the next five years, and can promise to do that on the basis of a strong economy under his and Theresa May’s direction – unlike Labour, who can’t be trusted with the economy or the NHS. When Labour were last in power, as they admitted when leaving office, they spent until there was ‘no money left’. And it’s a fact that even where Labour run the NHS in Wales today, they have allowed waiting times – for treatment, for A&E, for diagnostic tests and for ambulances – all to spiral while cutting the actual money that they choose to spend on the NHS. People living on the border of England and Wales are clear – the provision of NHS services is better under the Conservatives and Theresa May. But still more needs to be done, so we need to be sure that the NHS can count on continued funding  – and to do that, we need a strong economy and a good Brexit deal, with the UK outside the EU.

A strong voice standing up for the funding our local public services need

I will continue campaigning to retain the Accident & Emergency and other services at Darlington Memorial Hospital. You can trust me on this:

  • My day job involved working with the NHS and the health care sector to get better outcomes for patients – the Northern Echo calls me ‘an avid supporter of the NHS’ (Northern Echo, 17 August 2014, link).
  • I have a strong record of speaking up in Darlington in defence of our local services, while Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate failed to do so as an MP. For example, Jenny Chapman has said ‘I should have listened to you… I did not want to launch a campaign to save the library… On reflection… people wanted to see me stand up and shout on their behalf. People are saying to me that they needed to see me stand up against that particular decision – if they’re saying that, I need to listen.’ (Northern Echo, 20 April 2016, link).

I can be counted on to stand up for Darlington’s interests locally (speaking out against Labour Council decisions that Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate isn’t prepared to) and nationally (I support Theresa May and think she would be a far better Prime Minister than Jeremy Corbyn, but I am no yes man or career-minded robot politician either – I am known for being straight and forward in speaking up for decent British values and ordinary working families, and as the Northern Echo has reported, defending the NHS.

And having not fallen out with my own party leader, I will be in a better position to make the case for the funding we need here in Darlington, to help protect the services provided by Darlington Memorial Hospital and throughout our public services. That way, we can ensure that people here continue to be treated safely, and we don’t return to the chaos of the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years, that crashed our economy and led to the awful crisis and scandal at Mid-Staffordshire and throughout our NHS.

I am strongly committed to my home town and promise to stand up for the interests of all our residents.

You can’t trust Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate on the NHS

My main rival here in Darlington, Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate, is trying to scaremonger about threats to our local NHS and its funding in a way that is irresponsible. Spreading alarm in a desperate way like this, in order to prevent lifelong Labour voters switching over to the Conservatives for the first time at this election after realising that they have been failed by Labour (The Times, 20 April 2017, link) – is cynical, and extremely disappointing to see.

We should not be treating the NHS as a political football. We should be making sure it is properly funded, and we should be ensuring that it gets the best outcomes possible in terms of improving people’s health, while minimising any bureaucratic waste from the excessive imposition of targets – which again means more money available to spend on actually helping people get better, or for funding new and experimental treatments of cancer, stroke and dementia (now the nation’s biggest killer, which is why we have had to take the responsible decision of changing how we fund the provision of social services, to make sure that ordinary working families are protected so that they can still pass something onto their kids and grandchildren – Conservatives, 8 March 2017, link).

Decisions should be, where possible, clinician-led – rather than dreamed up on the whim of a political party for the purposes of campaigning at election time.