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Rochdale Liberal Democrats

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MP presses Prime Minister on Christies Cash

April 2, 2009 12:00 AM

Paul Rowen MP with Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg - Both Supporting ChristiesRochdale MP Paul Rowen has today pressed Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the Christies cash scandal, in which the hospital lost £6.5 million in the recent Icelandic banking crisis.

Mr Rowen asked what the Prime Minister is doing to help The Christie recover the money.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Question Time, Mr Rowen asked the Prime Minister: "Christie's hospital, which is a world leader in the treatment of cancer, has recently lost £6.5 million due to the Icelandic banking crisis - money earmarked for new radiography centres in Oldham and Salford.

"Given the Government's support for financial institutions, what is the Prime Minister doing to help Christie recover this money?"

The Prime Minister answered: "I've met nurses from the Christie Hospital. They do a wonderful job in treating people with Cancer, they're a world class hospital and I praise what they do. I have said that I will meet their officials to look at the issues that they raise.

"This is essentially an issue in relation to an Icelandic bank that was regulated not in Britain but was regulated outside Britain. All banks that are regulated in Britain we have guaranteed the deposits of savers, we will look and see what we can do but I have to tell him that that is the central issue but this is not a charity with funds in banks that are regulated in Britain.

"We will look at what we can do and I do once again praise the Christie Hospital for what they achieve."

Speaking after the debate, Paul Rowen said, "I am pleased that the Prime Minister has agreed to meet with hospital bosses to discuss this issue and I hope that this will result in a positive resolution to this funding crisis.

"Many people in Rochdale and across Greater Manchester rely on the services at The Christie and I pointed out that this £6.5 million was ear-marked for two radiotherapy clinics, in Oldham and Salford and would have benefitted hundreds of local people.

"I am a firm believer in the work that Christie's hospital does and was happy to use the first opportunity I had to probe the Prime Minister on this issue.

"Given the money the Government has pumped into banks whose own mismanagement caused their losses, their compensation scheme's stance on this issue is indefensible. Christie' invested in good faith in a solid bank and they and their patients should not be punished for other's mistakes."