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Jeremy Hunt defeated over Lewisham Hospital A&E cut appeal

LOSER: Jeremy Hunt lost his appeal to cut Lewisham Hospital A&E (PA)

GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS to have the decision to keep Lewisham Hospital Accident and Emergency open reversed have failed.

The decision was made by Lord Dyson, Lord Justice Sullivan and Lord Justice Underhill at The Court of Appeals today.

Over the summer, it was ruled that Heath Secretary Jeremy Hunt had acted outside his powers when he decided the emergency and maternity units should be cut back.

At the High Court in July, Mr Justice Silber said Hunt's decision was "unlawful" as he lacked the authority to make such a decision.

If allowed to go ahead, local residents would have been forced to travel as much as an hour away to receive care.

Rosa Curling, who represented the campaign group “Save Lewisham Hospital”, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the Court of Appeal's decision.

"This expensive waste of time for the government should serve as a wake up call that they cannot ride roughshod over the needs of the people”.

The Department of Health has not yet commented however Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary, has described today as a "humiliation" for Hunt and has chided him for not "graciously accepting the first court ruling… squandering thousands of [pounds of] taxpayers' money trying to protect his own pride”.

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