CONSERVATIVE MP for Welwyn Hatfield Grant Shapps has pledged to fight for the QEII Hospital if re-elected.

In a General Election statement today he focuses on the transfer of services from the Welwyn Garden City hospital to Stevenage's Lister, blaming the Labour government.

He said: "When you go to vote, please ask yourself one big question: Should we try to save our QEII Hospital?

"Brown promised us a new super-hospital in Hatfield, but instead Labour has authorised the closure of A and E and maternity units at the QEII.

"There is an alternative. If Conservatives win the General Election we will put an immediate moratorium on these QEII closures. Force the health bosses to go back to the drawing board and reconsider the cuts. And ask the doctors to decide the outcome.

"With an expanding population - we've grown ten per cent since I was elected as your MP five years ago - shutting down the major parts of our QEII Hospital is completely bonkers.

"If I'm re-elected as your MP I'll continue to vigorously fight against the incinerator at New Barnfield or anywhere else in Welwyn Hatfield where it could harm my residents. And I'll work hard to get Hatfield town centre regenerated and Welwyn Garden City improved.

"I live in Welwyn Hatfield with my family and use the same services as you - like our schools, shops and hospital. If re-elected and we win the General Election my number one priority will be to try to block Labour's closures at our QEII."

Labour's candidate Mike Hobday says he too campaigned against the transfer of services, which was decided by the Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust.

The trust argues that the transfer is in the best interests of patients and was backed by most clinicians.