The first in a series of debates discussing NHS services between the Calder Valley MP and parliamentary candidates will kick-off at Brighouse School on Thursday, September 25, at 7pm.
The latest development has seen the Liberal Democrat candidate Alisdair McGregor join the discussion with Labour candidate Josh Fenton-Glynn and Conservative Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker.
Mr Whittaker said: “Public debates between candidates from the three main parties provide voters with a vital opportunity to engage with the democratic process and to hear what all of the different candidates have to say.
“I am shocked and saddened that the Labour Party want to exclude the Liberals from these debates and can only guess as to why they would want to do this.”
However, Mr Fenton-Glynn said: “I called these debates specifcally between Mr Whittaker and myself. They are for local people to be able to hear both sides of the argument on the threats faced by our NHS services - we don’t need two voices from the coalition, both of whose parties voted for David Cameron’s hugely damaging top-down reorganisation of the NHS and support the ever-growing privatisation and fragmentation of our healthcare system that has caused. We’ve seen both nationally and recently locally how keen the Lib Dems and Tories are to club together.”
Mr McGregor responded saying: “The Liberal Democrats have a very different view from both the Conservative Party and Labour about how the NHS should operate.
“It was Liberal Democrats who stopped Conservative privatisation plans and reversed some of Labour’s policies which meant private health companies got special favours.
“Perhaps Labour are scared we will draw attention to their own record of privatisation and their disastrous PFI deal that has cost Calderdale Royal Hospital millions and puts services at risk.
“We will happily debate any selected parliamentary candidates from any party.”