Debate demand following war of words on social media over the NHS
Issue date: Monday, November 17 2014
West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge has thrown down the gauntlet to Dudley North MP Ian Austin after war of words erupted between the pair on social media.
UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge has challenged Mr Austin to a head to head debate over the NHS and immigration.
Mr Austin has claimed, both on social media sites such as Twitter, and in the press, that UKIP would privatise the NHS despite UKIP’s national party policy clearly stating the purple party’s total commitment to safeguarding a free NHS.
UKIP would also not charge people to see a GP and would also scrap hospital car parking charges in England.
Earlier today Bill Etheridge issued a challenge on Twitter to Mr Austin demanding that the MP sets a date for a showdown debate.
In his Tweet today Bill said: “Bill Etheridge@BillDudleyNorth 49m49 minutes ago
I am starting a campaign to get @IanAustinMP to face me in public debate to justify his appalling comments about #UKIP and the NHS.
In another Tweet Mr Etheridge branded Mr Austin a “disgraceful liar” and said he was “unfit for office and should be ashamed” (please see the Tweet and further Tweets for your information below).
Bill Etheridge @BillDudleyNorth 9h9 hours ago
@IanAustinMP you are a disgraceful liar who is unfit for office you should be ashamed #UKIP @ExpressandStar @YamYam_Dudley @sunpoliticsmids
Expand Collapse 0 replies . 4 retweets 1 favourite
Ian AustinVerified account @IanAustinMP Nov 13
I've sent this to the press because people need to know UKIP wld make them take out expensive insurance 4 healthcare http://www.ianaustin.co.uk/austin_farage_comments_show_russells_hall_not_safe_with_ukip …
0 replies . 12 retweets 7 favourites
Retweet 12 Retweeted 12
Favourite 7 Favourited 7
12:08 pm - 13 Nov 2014
9 hrs · Sedgley ·
I am sick of the lies from Ian Austin MP. I demand he faces me in a public debate. His latest repulsive lies about UKIP policy on the NHS combined with his lies about his views on immigration are a step too far. Please join me in calling this appalling con man out to face the music. Please contact the local media backing my calls for him to face me in public debate.
Speaking today, following the Twitter row, Mr Etheridge, who is also a Sedgley Councillor, said: “Come on Mr Austin. Either put up or shut up. Have you got the guts to face me in a debate?
“Just set a date and let’s have a face to face debate on issues such as immigration and the NHS. Mr Austin you are trying to frighten people over the NHS by misleading them by saying UKIP would privatise it.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. We are totally committed to ensuring that the NHS is free at the point of delivery at a time of need for all UK residents.
“Labour’s, and indeed Mr Austin’s, hypocrisy over the NHS is staggering as it was Labour that introduced backdoor privatisation through hospital PFIs.
“UKIP opposes plans to charge patients for visiting their doctor and we would also scrap hospital car parking charges in England.
“Furthermore, Mr Austin’s hypocrisy over the issue of immigration also knows no bounds as, as the General Election draws near, he has taken an ever UKIP line on the subject.
“He is a political chameleon and his disgraceful behaviour is doing the people of Dudley North a disservice. I believe he is unfit for office.
“My mother had cancer around 15 years ago and her life was saved by the NHS. That’s why I am so outraged and appalled by Mr Austin’s repellent comments”, added Mr Etheridge.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL CRAIG WINYARD, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR BILL ETHERIDGE MEP, ON 07881 660941 OR 01902 664670.