AUDIO: PM visits the Courier offices

The Prime Minister David Cameron hit out at Labour for the financial state of Calderdale Royal Hospital during a visit to the Halifax Courier offices this week.

Mr Cameron criticised Labour for drawing up the deal to build a £64 million hospital building under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which will eventually cost the taxpayer £774 million.

“Labour should hang their heads in shame when they remember this PFI deal done under their government,” he said.

“After the election we want to do what we’ve done with other hospitals, which is sort out the PFI mess and financial mess that they’re in.

“I want people to know that Calderdale Royal Hospital is going to provide great services,” he said.

“We’re seeing a growth in population of people using our hositals and using our A&E.

“We want to see the improvements in primary care - so we will have this seven day access to GP surgeries from eight in the morning to eight in the evening for everyone by the end of 2020.”

Philip Allott, Conservative PPC for Halifax, added that both he and Mr Cameron were keen to keep the A&E in Halifax.

Mr Allott said: “What Mr Cameron has agreed is to guarantee our A&E - he’s adamant in backing me up.

“We will not close the A&E,” he said. “We can restructure and rebalance the debt, and Mr Cameron has given me the green-light if we get a Conservative government to underwrite the debt.

“By restructuring the debt we can bring the trust back from the red into the black.

“The Prime Minister has ruled-out the closure of the A&E.

“So all the banners around Halifax that say ‘David Cameron: hands off our A&E’ can be taken down. My message to Andy Burnham (Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary) is take those banners down.

“The A&E’s not closing and we’re going to keep fighting for Halifax,” he said.

During his interview, Mr Cameron also responded to Labour’s accusation that the Conservatives have made life more difficult for those living in poverty, including the rise in food bank use, welfare cuts and sanctions and the Bedroom Tax.

Mr Cameron said: “We’ve taken three million of the poorest people out of income tax altogether; we’ve seen the first real-terms rise in the minimum wage; we’ve cut taxes for working families; we’ve put in place extra childcare to help people back to work; we’ve had the Work Programme which has been the biggest back-to-work programme in the country’s history.

“It was Labour which crashed the economy - it was the poorest who were hit the hardest, working people lost their jobs and I’m fed-up with hearing the lectures, frankly.

“The election’s going to come down to choice of who do you want to run the economy, who do you want to run the country.

“This is not a moment for protest or message sending - it’s a moment for decision making.

“Voting for UKIP will let in Labour which will put an end to the recovery and be a disaster for Halifax and the rest of the country.”

Mr Cameron was on the campaign trail with Mr Allott with only a fortnight to go until the election.

Halifax has been targeted by the Conservative Party as a key marginal seat.