Mark Pritchard

Hospital to get £4m to prepare for winter

The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will get an extra £4m to help it prepare for winter, the health secretary has announced.

Matt Hancock was responding in Parliament to a question from Telford MP Lucy Allan, who invited him to visit the town again and hear concerns about plans to move specialist women and children's services to Shrewsbury.

PRH sign

The money was described as "winter capital funding", but the Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard tweeted afterwards "£4M extra funding for a 'new' midwife-led maternity unit alongside the main women and children’s wards at the PRH in Telford."

The hospital has not yet confirmed how it will be spending the £4m.

MPs disagree over whether A&E is saved or not

The two Conservative MPs who represent people in Telford can't seem to agree whether the accident and emergency department at the Princess Royal Hospital has been saved or not... and what that actually means.

The MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pritchard tweeted to say it "will remain open despite Labour's scare stories".

But the Telford MP, Lucy Allan, replied to say the so-called A&E Local that will replace it is "not 24/7" and that the "fight goes on".

The Future Fit plans to reorganise hospital services in Shropshire involve making Shrewsbury the county's centre for emergency medicine and giving Telford a downgraded A&E Local instead, but it's not yet been explained what that will involve.

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Under the Future Fit plans released in 2016, which attracted considerable anger from politicians and campaigners in Telford, the town would get a 24-hour urgent care centre staffed by GPs and advanced care practitioners, but not consultants.

It is unclear if the proposed A&E Local differs from this model.

MPs react to Parliament suspension plan

Allen Cook

BBC News

Midlands MPs have reacted to news that the government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson said a Queen's Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his "very exciting agenda".

But it means the time MPs have to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be cut.

Boris Johnson

Deputy leader of the Labour Party and West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson called the move "an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy".

While Birmingham Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill tweeted it was "an affront to the democratic process" and added "this must not happen".

The Conservative MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pritchard tweeted: "If it takes Parliament being prorogued to help deliver Brexit, then so be it. Democracy means delivering on Brexit. The PM is right to take this decision."

And the Conservative MP for Telford, Lucy Allan, wrote on twitter: "The ‘Stop Brexit’ brigade have had three years of Parliamentary time on this. Brexit is happening."

The prime minister said he did not want to wait until after Brexit "before getting on with our plans to take this country forward", and insisted there would still be "ample time" for MPs to debate Brexit.

You can follow developments on this breaking news story here on the BBC News website.

MPs clash over council abolition comments

The Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham has stirred up some controversy with a tweet last night suggesting he'd like to see the abolition of Telford and Wrekin Council.

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But the idea hasn't gone down well with his fellow Conservatives on the local authority, or the two MPs for the town, Lucy Allan and Mark Pritchard.

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Shropshire Council has also opposed talk of a merger in the past and it's possible that if the two authorities were to merge, the Conservatives would lose their majority in Shropshire.

Conservative MP calls for leadership voting change

The Conservative MP for The Wrekin, Mark Pritchard, says the party needs to change the way it elects its leader.

Tory MPs can stand for the top job with just two nominations from colleagues - that's compared to the 15 required for those wanting to stand as a chair of a select committee.

Mark Pritchard

So far, there are 12 candidates in the leadership race, but Mr Pritchard hasn't said who he’s backing.

Conservative MPs at odds over Brexit

This afternoon's vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement has set Conservative MPs at odds with each other.

The MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pritchard, decided to vote for the deal, after opposing it when it first appeared and tweeted to say: "All those who voted against it are inadvertently, or purposely, frustrating Brexit."

Owen Paterson

But the MP for North Shropshire, Owen Paterson, who has always opposed the prime minister's deal told Parliament before the vote he would maintain his "integrity and reputation" and not change his mind now.

Row over plans to 'dump village on local community'

Proposals to build 3,000 homes on greenfield land near the M54 at Tong in Shropshire have been criticised by the local MP, who says developments should be built on brownfield sites instead, and accused developers of "dumping" homes on communities.

Shropshire Council is working with four local authorities in the Black Country on the plans and says while it doesn't need the extra homes, the development would create a lot of jobs.

Mark Pritchard

Mark Pritchard said local residents must be listened to and that it was important any new development had the infrastructure to support it.

We are seeing huge numbers dumped on communities with very little consultation and very little thought given to the provision of local GPs or school places and also the environment."

Mark PritchardMP for the Wrekin

Handful of MPs switch to back the PM

A number of Conservative MPs who voted against Theresa May's first Brexit agreement decided to back her last night, including a handful in the West Midlands.

The MP for the Wrekin, Mark Pritchard, said before the vote he was going to give it his "unenthusiastic" support, because it was a "significant improvement" and because there was a danger there could be no Brexit at all.

Mark Pritchard

The North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin and Andrew Mitchell, who represents Sutton Coldfield, also decided to back this deal after opposing the last one.

Mr Wiggin said he thought the "whole country wants us to get on with it".

MPs make minds up over PM's Brexit deal

West Midlands MPs have been waiting for the attorney general's legal advice on Theresa May's Brexit agreement, before deciding if they will support it, but now appear to be making up their minds.

The Wrekin MP, Mark Pritchard, who campaigned to remain in the EU, voted against her first agreement, but tweeted to say he will back this one:

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Some other MPs, including the Bromsgrove MP and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, also say they will back the agreement when it is voted on tonight.

But the European Research Group in the Conservative Party is asking its members not to back it, saying it doesn't contain enough guarantees.

These include the North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, who is against the agreement, and the Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski, who said he was likely to oppose it too.

Health Secretary visits reorganisation row hospital

The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, is visiting Telford's Princess Royal Hospital today.

The trust that runs the hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is currently in special measures and he says he has been invited by the Conservative MP for Telford, Lucy Allan.


Telford and Wrekin Council is expected to ask him to review the hospital's decision to move the main emergency care and specialist women and children's services to Shrewsbury.

But the Labour leader of the authority Shaun Davies has tweeted his disappointment that Mr Hancock hasn't agreed to meet with him.