Exclusive: MP throws down gauntlet over pharmacy cuts and demands Commons vote

Michael Dugher MP is to force a Commons vote on pharmacy cuts.
Michael Dugher MP is to force a Commons vote on pharmacy cuts.
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SENIOR Yorkshire MP Michael Dugher will attempt to force a Commons vote on the Government’s proposed pharmacy cuts, The Yorkshire Post can reveal.

The former Shadow Cabinet member believes sufficient Tory backbenchers will rebel vote with Labour after more than two million people signed an online petition.

Mr Dugher, the Barnsley East MP, has been leading a summer-long campaign against budget reductions which could force hundreds of pharmacies to close at a time when Ministers want local chemists to be the first port of call for NHS users.

Writing in today’s newspaper, he challenges Ministers to put their plans to a vote. “They might just be in for a nasty shock,” says Mr Dugher “It’s not just Labour MPs who have supported the campaign about the threat to thousands of pharmacies. Several Tory MPs spoke out in the Commons last week against the cuts.

“In Yorkshire and the Humber, there are 1,266 community pharmacies that dispense almost 10,000 prescription items every month, as well as supporting public health and providing invaluable medical advice. If Ministers are so confident that these cuts to community pharmacies are “the correct decision”, let’s have a vote in the House of Commons. But we should do so before it is too late and we see many of our pharmacies closed for good.”