Campaign to protect NHS in Morley

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Campaigners against NHS privatisation brought their battle to keep the health service in public hands to Morley.

A protest was held calling on the government to make sure the health service is not at risk of being taken over by multi-national companies as part of a secretive international trade deal.

The NHS protest against a controversial trade deal that they believe would lead the way to privatisation of the service. Lynne Hutchinson joins the rally. (AB171c0815)

The NHS protest against a controversial trade deal that they believe would lead the way to privatisation of the service. Lynne Hutchinson joins the rally. (AB171c0815)

Campaigners displayed estate agent-style placards with the words “NHS out of TTIP” - calling for the NHS to be protected form the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - at the protest on Mountbatten Crescent.

They have also gathered 1,000 names on a petition from people in the Morley and Outwood constituency of Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns, who is on the parliamentary Health Select Committee, and are planning to hand her the petition.

Kimberley Pemberton, of action group the People’s NHS, said: “The people of the Morley and Outwood do not believe it is right for the NHS to be part of an EU trade deal.

“As a new MP with an important seat on the health committee Andrea Jenkyns has a real opportunity to defend our NHS from this EU trade deal which means the irreversible sell-off of our NHS.

“Andrea Jenkyns must listen and help get the NHS out of TTIP.”

NHS activists fear that the TTIP could force countries to open up public services to competition from the private sector.

They claim private firms would be able to sue the government if they were restricted from taking over parts of the NHS.

The complex deal is being negotiated in secret between the European Union and United States.

The TTIP is designed to remove regulations which restrict the potential profits made by corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

The TTIP negotiations, which started in February 2013, have raised fears that environmental regulations and rules on rights at work and food safety could be removed by the deal.

Security around the negotiations has reportedly been stepped up after a series of leaks.

The text of the TTIP documents can only be looked at by politicians in a secret “reading room” in Brussels.

Andrea Jenkyns is yet to comment on the petition.