General Election 2017: Kerry Pollard launches St Albans campaign with support for the NHS and renationalisation

Kerry Pollard and St Albans Labour launch their General Election campaign. Credit: St Albans Labour

Kerry Pollard and St Albans Labour launch their General Election campaign. Credit: St Albans Labour - Credit: Archant

Labour’s Kerry Pollard has pledged his support for the NHS and renationalisation as he launched his campaign to be the next MP for St Albans.

At an event on Sunday, May 14, Mr Pollard promised to fight against ward closures and for nurse bursaries.

He said: “Our local health trust has been, and continues to, recruit nurses from many countries as far away as the Philippines, a country still struggling to come to terms with the typhoon of three years ago. This is a disgrace, them training nurses and us poaching them.”

Mr Pollard, who previously served as St Albans’ MP, said he would campaign for a new teaching hospital to work with the University of Hertfordshire to provide more locally-trained staff.

He praised the University’s nursing school as one of the best in the world.

But added: “The number of training places was cut at the University at a time when we needed more nurses and should have been training our own.”

Mr Pollard spoke alongside a junior doctor, Michael Alexander, who told the audience the NHS needs good Labour people like Kerry in the Commons.

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Dr Alexander said: “What I can tell you is that our fears are real, and almost any medical professional you ask will tell you the same.

“That the NHS cannot be taken for granted, and it won’t always be there unless we act to make sure it is.”

Mr Pollard also spoke out on other issues, such as education and housing.

He criticised housebuilders for building less than the market needed, and private landlords for pocketing most of the £30 billion Britain spends on housing benefit.

He said: “I founded the Open Door night shelter here in St Albans in 1994 and am still a trustee today.

“Our shelter is full every night and there are still rough sleepers on our streets. A disgrace when St Albans is the sixth wealthiest city in the land.”

He also backed renationalisation, saying: “I fully support Labour’s call for the renationalisation of the rail network and other utilities.”

Kerry Pollard is running in the General Election, to be held on June 8, against Daisy Cooper for the Liberal Democrats, Jack Easton for the Green Party, and Anne Main for the Conservatives.