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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has suffered a political blow after a judge deemed that his plans to shut down services at London's Lewisham hospital were unlawful.

Mr Justice Silber said that Hunt's plans went against the National Health Services Act 2006, and quashed the decision in high court.

"This is an incredible day. We are delighted for every single person who has supported the campaign and those who will now continue to benefit from this extraordinary hospital," GP Louise Irvine told The Guardian.

Irvine prasied online pressure and petitioning group 38 Degrees who organised a court battle with campaigners, saying "We're delighted by the judgement and the support we've got from across the country, especially from 38 Degrees members who donated to make today's victory possible and helped give us the confidence to stand up to Jeremy Hunt in court."

“We’ve won, all the services at the hospital will carry on. It’s stuff Hunt, and its stuff the government and its plans to privatise the NHS,” campaigner Barbara Veale told London 24.


Jeremy Hunt

“Justice has been delivered," said Mayor of Lewisham Steve Bullock.

“I am delighted for the thousands of people in Lewisham who fought so hard to have their voices heard and applaud all those who dared to hope and believe that together we could make a difference.”

Health minister Earl Howe blamed the Labour party and quoted by The Daily Telegraph said “Sadly, the last Government set South London Healthcare NHS Trust up to fail when they established it in 2009.

"It was saddled with a £149 million debt from the start because of years of mismanagement and badly negotiated Private Finance Initiative contracts before that time. Because the debt burden became so high, doing nothing was not an option.”

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said "This is a humiliation for Hunt and a vindication for the people of Lewisham. They have stood up not just for their own."
 
The Secretary of State for Health and former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was responsible for the security blunder at London 2012 Olympics when private security firm G4S failed to provide services and the British Army had to be drafted weeks prior to the big event.

Images via Getty 


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Plans to cut Lewisham Hospital A&E and maternity services by Tory minister Jeremy Hunt deemed unlawful
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