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I completely agree.
As I was saying, the Budget will see record amounts of investment in places like Ashfield in Eastbourne. That will, in turn, create highly-skilled jobs and better employment opportunities, which will turn the clock back on decades of decline. With this levelling up of wealth in places like Ashfield, I am positive that we will see a levelling up of health. If we are going to make the argument that poor places have poor health, the solution is simple: let us make the poorer places better off by providing better jobs, better education, better training and better opportunities in life, which will only come from a Conservative Government. Already in Ashfield, we have up to £75 million of town centre and future high streets funding coming. We are also looking at opening up old train lines, to increase connectivity. That sort of positive action in Ashfield will increase prosperity in health and wealth.
My wife is currently in Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, after having her third operation in three years. She has had a double lung transplant, an operation to remove 2 metres of intestine and a good old bout of sepsis, and yesterday she had her gall bladder removed. When I told her that I was going to have this week off to look after her, she said, “No, you go down there to Parliament and tell them people in that Chamber that this is a brilliant NHS”—it keeps her alive every single day.
As I said, it is a shame that the Opposition are once again playing politics with a very emotive subject. I want to assure them that in places like Ashfield and other usually solid Labour areas across the midlands and north, we now have hard-working Tory MPs in place who will not only level up wealth but will also level up health.