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THERE are few topics that rouse the passions of the people of Grantham quite like that of Grantham Hospital – but the decision to silence its chief critic is nothing short of a scandal.

Last year we faithfully reported the official line: that Gary Walker, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Foundation Hospitals Trust was sacked for swearing - despite our incredulity that a highly respected man who was clearly brilliant at his job would be ousted for a smattering of cheap profanities.

At the time Mr Walker told the Journal why he felt he was being hung out to dry: we felt he was about to reveal how impossible Government targets were putting patients’ lives in grave danger. He may have been about to blow the lid on a national issue, under oath with the eyes of the nation, and indeed the world, upon him.

Previously, the Journal toed the line of a responsible publisher and withheld his concerns because we knew we’d have our day in court - and justice would be done.

Now Mr Walker has been made an offer he could not refuse, and can only trot out one line to the press - even if the man’s principles tell him otherwise.

That YOU have paid for this golden gag will cause outrage and indignation. This surely can’t be right?