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Jeremy Hunt defeated over Lewisham Hospital cuts

CUTS QUASHED: People campaigning to save Lewisham Hospital earlier this month (PA)

GOVERNMENT PLANS to cut back services at Lewisham Hospital have overturned by a High Court judge coming as a major blow to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Proposals to downgrade casualty and maternity units at the southeast London hospital were ruled as unlawful by Mr Justice Silber, who said Hunt had acted outside of his powers.

The judge said the government had broken regulations of the National Health Services Act 2006.

In January, Hunt to MPs his plans to cut the hospital’s services were necessary because of the £1m losses made every week by the South London healthcare NHS Trust.

BAD DAY: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt acted outside of his power, according to the High Court judge (PA)

Campaigners fighting the Health Secretary’s plans welcomed the judge’s ruling.

Local GP Dr Louise Irvine, who chairs the Save Lewisham Hospital initiative, said: “This is an incredible day.

“We are delighted for every single person who has supported the campaign and those who will now continue to benefit from this extraordinary hospital.

“David Cameron himself said that there would be no 'top-down' approach to closures and we appreciate the court's decision, which should serve as a reminder to this government.”

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