The candidate in your front page article in last week’s Journal (May 19) was wrong.
The Independent candidate (Dr Tariq Mahmood) standing in the general election will not “save services”. In fact, if he has any effect at all, it will be to increase the likelihood of cuts to Grantham Hospital.
He does not seem to have grasped that, while the cuts which are happening at Grantham Hospital are horrendous, they are not unique to Grantham. Lots of other hospitals up and down the country (Chorley, Huddersfield etc) are also facing cuts to their A&E departments.
The policy of the Conservative government is wrong, and government policy needs to change if we are going to save our A&E.
However, the candidate in your article is standing as an Independent. So, even if he wins, he will not be part of the government, and therefore will not be able to change government policy. Which means that he will not be able to save hospital services.
However, it is far more likely that he does not win. Grantham and Stamford usually elects a Conservative. Certainly, when Conservative Nick Boles was parachuted in, he saw it as a ‘safe seat’. Therefore, most of the anti-Conservative vote has to unite around a single opposition candidate to have any chance of taking the seat from the Conservatives.
A candidate standing on the issue of Grantham Hospital alone will have no appeal in the other half of the constituency, covering Stamford and Bourne, where people use the hospital at Peterborough.
It is interesting that the Journal’s sister paper, the Stamford Mercury, did not think it worth noting that an Independent candidate was standing, even though the two papers sometimes share articles, if it affects both groups of readers.
The only way to have any chance of defeating the Conservative, is for everyone else to unite behind the Labour candidate. He will be more use if he actually gets in, as well.
Secretary, Grantham Labour Party