ALLEGATIONS that a candidate in the forthcoming General Election has “invented” a threat to one of Clyesdale’s cottage hospitals as part of his re-election campaign have been dismissed by him as “hysterical”.
Both the SNP and the Green Party have attacked Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale Tory candidate David Mundell for issuing a leaflet in which, his opponents say, he claims to have defended from closure Biggar’s Kello Hospital – despite the fact that no such threat existed.
In a leaflet headed “A local plan for Biggar and Symington”, Mr Mundell said among his commitments if re-elected would be “ensuring Kello Hospital stays open and extends its services”.
This was seized on by Jody Jamieson, the Greens’ candidate, who said: “Instead of focusing the campaign on scaring people about the future of the Kello Hospital – which is not facing any immediate threat – perhaps Mr Mundell could instead address the causes of more legitimate worries about healthcare in the UK.”
The leafletr was brought to the attention of Clydesdale’s SNP MSP Aileen Campbell who established from the Scottish Government that there was no threat to Kello Hospital in its current plans.
The nurse who is standing as the SNP Westminster candidate in the seat, Emma Harper, said: “There are enough serious issues facing this constituency without inventing ones out of the air.
“People are alarmed when it’s suggested that local hospitals could be shutting, but it’s clear that the only person suggesting this is David Mundell.”
In a strong rebuttal, Mr Mundell said: “This hysterical response to my innocuous letters reaffirming my commitment to our excellent and much-loved community hospitals at Kello and Lady Home, shows just how sensitive the SNP and Scottish Government are to criticism of their management of the health service and its increasing centralisation.
“Keeping our community hospitals open is a red line for me in any NHS reorganisations.”