PFI row ousts Labour MP

Dr Richard Taylor, a 66-year-old retired doctor standing in the Wyre Forest constituency, ousted sitting Labour MP David Lock after fighting a campaign to save the accident and emergency department at Kidderminster hospital.

The result, which saw Taylor overturn a 7,000 Labour majority and establish a massive 17,630 majority for himself, will be seen as a slap in the face for the government’s PFI policies.

During the 1997 election campaign Labour promised a new hospital for Worcester.

But after taking office, it became clear it would adopt a £130m PFI plan leading to the centralisation of health services in the region.

A brand new hospital would be built in Worcester but services would be downgraded elsewhere including Kidderminster, the hospital where Taylor worked for 23 years.

Supporters of Taylor said this meant the people of Kidderminster would have to travel almost 20 miles for casualty or emergency surgery services.

At his acceptance speech last night, Dr Taylor said: ‘This is a tremendous reaction from the people against a very powerful government and a very powerful political system that overrides the will of the people.’


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