Group makes case against A&E changes
THE BREXIT referendum “unleashed an undisguised language of suspicion, denigration, hatred and vilification” across the county, the Bishop of Leeds has told a debate in the House of Lords.
The Rt Rev Nick Baines, speaking at the beginning a two-day debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill, condemned the corruption of public discourse in the Brexit debate and called on peers “to model good ways of disagreeing well”.
Almost 190 peers were listed to speak over the two days of second reading of the Bill, which aims to transfer European law into UK law as part of the country’s exit from the European Union.
Leeds was one of only three local authority areas in Yorkshire to vote Remain in the 2016 election, along with Harrogate and York. The bishop said: “The referendum tore off the veneer of civilised discourse in this country and unleashed an undisguised language of suspicion, denigration, hatred and vilification.
“Brexit has unleashed the normalisation of lies, and rendered too easily acceptable the demonising of people who, with integrity and intelligence, venture to hold a contrary view.
“We are in danger of securing an economic platform at the expense of a culture of respect and intelligent democratic argument.
“Politicians could begin by moderating their language and engaging in intelligent, informed and respectful argument that chooses to eschew personalised or generalised vindictiveness or violence.”
Lords Leader Baroness Evans of Bowes Park said she did not share concerns that peers will ignore the referendum or use the Bill to frustrate the Brexit process, but said she expects deliberations to be “very challenging”. NHS CAMPAIGNERS have sent their objections to a controversial shake-up of hospitals services to the independent panel carrying out a review of the proposals.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt could have the final say over plans to downsize Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) and centralise A&E services in Halifax.
He has asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) to carry out an initial assessment of the plan after it was referred to him by a council health watchdog. It would lead to a full review being carried out.
Action group Hands Off HRI said it had sent a formal submission to the panel. Objections include increased journey times to hospital and Huddersfield not having a full A&E department.
NHS bosses have insisted the changes will make hospital services safer.
A spokesperson for the panel said: “The IRP was asked by the Secretary of State for Health to provide advice on this issue on January 25.
“We will undertake an initial assessment of the referral and its suitability for full IRP review, this usually takes 20 working days.”