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Guildford Labour’s NHS Campaign Clashes With Tories Over Pandemic

Published on: 9 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 11 Sep, 2020

The “placard line” formed by Guildford Labour Party members near the Royal Surrey Hospital on Saturday. Branch chairman and spokesperson Brian Creese is on the left.

By Martin Giles

On Saturday morning (September 5), Guildford Labour Party returned to campaigning for the first time since lockdown, clashing with the Conservatives over the National Health Service.

A small group of Guildford party activists formed a “placard line” near the Royal Surrey County Hospital, carefully spaced out, two metres apart.

Party spokesman Brian Creese said: “With the positive responses from passing motorists, it is clear many of the messages were well-received. Guildford Labour is keen to remind people that NHS and care staff need more than just applause on a Thursday night; they need proper resources, proper protection and proper pay.

“As the pandemic recedes it becomes increasingly clear that the government, despite some fine words, has no intention of honouring its promises of providing real pay rises for front-line staff, will not provide routine weekly Covid testing for staff, and is continuing to charge foreign key workers for health care.

“The Labour Party created the NHS in 1948, in the teeth of bitter opposition from the Conservatives. The Labour Party remains the only party who really understands and cares for the NHS.”

Cllr Nigel Manning

But Nigel Manning leader of the four-member Conservative group at Guildford Borough Council, said: “Guildford Conservatives believe we should all be working together during a time of crisis which has impacted so many people’s lives, locally and nationally.

“There is now a resurgence of [Covid-19] cases as people gradually become more mobile, particularly as lockdown eases and from people returning from holidays abroad.

“For the Guildford Labour Party to spread the false idea that the risk of pandemic has receded is irresponsible and to actively create division at a time when we believe society should be collaborating to overcome the problems that face all of us.

“The Conservative government has backed the NHS with an extra £33.9 billion by 2023/24 and delivered more than 9,300 more doctors and 13,400 more nurses than a year ago.”

Cllr Manning (Ash Vale) added: “We need our medical services as much as ever and this is why Guildford Conservatives are committed to supporting the NHS and the brilliant staff that provide such a world-class service every day of the week.”

See also: Local Covid-19 Stats

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Responses to Guildford Labour’s NHS Campaign Clashes With Tories Over Pandemic

  1. Mike Murphy Reply

    September 9, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Here you have a perfect example of why people in Guildford voted for parties who were not associated with the Conservatives or the Labour Party.

    While there is so much work nationally and locally required to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic they are engaged in party political squabbling.

  2. Ian Johnson Reply

    September 9, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    When did the Conservative govt deliver, “more than 9,300 more doctors and 13,400 more nurses than a year ago” as Cllr Manning claims?

  3. Shelley Grainger Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Cllr Manning should re-read the placards. One of them says “Tory failures have cost lives”. Labour are certainly not complacent about the virus. During this week’s PMQs, Keir Starmer was asking for an improvement in the testing regime.

  4. Dr David Burgess Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Nigel Manning is accusing Guildford Labour of spreading “the false idea that the risk of pandemic has receded” when they are effectively doing the reverse.

    This article shows that they have executed a carefully and responsibly organised statement, with due regard to the required measures for social distancing. It is clear that it is simply a demonstration of support of the NHS that Cllr Manning’s government has failed for so much of this crisis. It is in danger of failing further if it doesn’t respond to messages such as these.

  5. Paul Spooner Reply

    September 11, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    One thing we can all agree on is the first placard in the photo: “Thank You to NHS Workers”.

    Anyone who attended the Royal Surrey County Hospital Annual Members Meeting yesterday would be left with a feeling of pride that we have such a well-managed hospital within Guildford with extraordinary staff and volunteers.

    Paul Spooner is the leader of the Conservative independent group at Guildford Borough Council.

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