MP's Chief of Staff writes to clarify social media speculation over hospital meeting

Published on: Thursday, 11th July 2019

The Chief of Staff to the borough MP has issued a statement in the wake of social media speculation over the attendance or otherwise of Maggie Throup to a public meeting about Ilkeston Community Hospital.

Ian Gutteridge released the statement in order to provide clarification over claims that Ms. Throup "refused" to attend the meeting on Tuesday 9th July, at which proposals by Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group were discussed to reduce the number of beds at the hospital site on Heanor Road.

Mr. Gutteridge that that contrary to social media reports, it was "categorically untrue" that the MP 'refused' to attend the meeting and instead said that the reality of the situation is that Ms. Throup was required to be present in Parliament on Tuesday in order to vote on the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill 2017-19.

He said that this important piece of legislation is primarily required to extend the time limit for the appointment of a Northern Ireland Executive without the need for fresh Assembly Elections.

His statement continued: "In addition, the Bill also ensures that key Public Services such as health, education, welfare and policing can continue to function in Northern Ireland in the absence of an Executive or Assembly.

"In the wider political context, the Bill is integral to preserving the devolved institutions set out in the 1998 Belfast Agreement and safeguards the peace process.

"For reference, Ms Throup's attending in Parliament is clearly recorded in Volume 633 of Hansard, through her participation in Division numbers 429 to 435 between 6:57pm and 7:54pm.

"Furthermore, Ms Throup personally contacted the [hospital] meeting organiser, Mr. Keith Venables to convey her apologies, which he accepted in good faith."

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