HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright was booed and heckled as he took to the podium in a protest about the town’s hospital today (Saturday).

Protestors in Hartlepool’s Victory Square shouted “Judas” and some turned their backs on him as the Labour MP pledged to fight to restore full services to the hospital if he is re-elected.

Many people from the Save Our Hospital campaign in Hartlepool blame him for services including Accident and Emergency being closed down at the town’s hospital and transferred to Stockton as the health trust prepared for the building of a new “super hospital” at Wynyard under the last Labour government.

The £300m hospital was to replace the University Hospitals of North Tees and Hartlepool, but the health trust put plans on hold last year after failing to secure Government funding.

More than 350 people took to the town centre for the Valentine’s Day protest to show their “love” for the University Hospital of Hartlepool and to demand that services are transferred back.

Mr Wright pledged to fight for a fully-functioning hospital in Hartlepool if he is re-elected, and said he was meeting the Secretary of State to discuss the matter in a few weeks.

Other speakers included Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Richard Royal, UKIP candidate Philip Broughton and Michael Holt, who is standing for the Green Party.

The protest co-ordinated with a national day of action by the 999 Call for the NHS movement, which is campaigning against cuts to the service.

Organiser Michelle McIntyre said she pleased that about 350 people had turned up and that the protest passed peacefully.