NATIONAL health activist Clive Peedell is to stand against Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron in next year’s General Election.
The 41-year-old consultant oncologist, who grew up in Oxfordshire, will be a candidate for the National Health Action Party (NHAP) which was set up to offer a political alternative to voters keen to protect the NHS.
His is the co-leader of NHAP and his general election campaign will centre around the issue of keeping the NHS in public hands and preventing what he says is the privatisation of health.
Dr Peedell, a consultant in Middlesbrough, said he is taking a stand against laws that axed Primary Care Trusts and gave GPs greater responsibility for budgets.
“I co-founded the party in 2012 because of the Health and Social Care Act which we felt was massive top-down reorganisation of the NHS,” he said.
“Before the election, the Conservatives said there would be no top-down reorganisation and the coalition agreement restated this and then this huge piece of legislation was put through which was basically a privatisation bill.
“We feel the democratic process has been abused. The public doesn’t want a privatised NHS.”
Ratified in 2012, the Health and Social Care Act abolished NHS primary care trusts and replaced them with clinical commissioning groups run by GPs.
But there have been concerns that the act enforces competitive tendering and so introduces privatisation into the NHS.
THESE are the candidates for the Witney seat in 2015 so far:
Conservative Party: David Cameron
Labour: Duncan Enright
National Health Action Party: Clive Peedell
Liberal Democrats: Not yet selected
Greens: Not yet selected
The Labour Party has already said it would repeal the act if it won the election.
Dr Peedell, who grew up in Botley and went to Magdalen College School, said: “I believe in a mixed economy and I’m not left-wing from that perspective but I just believe in a publicly-funded NHS.
“If you look at what the Labour Party did as well, they brought in the Private Finance Initiative [which saw public schemes funded with private cash], expanded the healthcare market introduced in the 1990s and opened the door for these reforms.
“We offer a different approach. I have to accept that when it comes to Tory votes in West Oxfordshire that they weigh them, they don’t count them and I accept the chances of winning are slim.
“But I grew up in the county and my brother lives in Witney. I could represent the people of Oxfordshire.”
Dr Peedell studied medicine at Southampton University, is married with two children and lives in North Yorkshire. He is also an Oxford United fan.
He is co-chairman of the NHS Consultants’ Association and a member of the British Medical Association Council.
His party has attracted the support of Oxford author Mark Haddon and comic Rufus Hound, who is standing for the party in May’s European elections in London.
The Oxford Mail asked David Cameron’s office for a comment but was not given one.