In his regular column Dr Dan Poulter explains why he has switched from the Conservatives to Labour before stepping down as a Suffolk MP


It is an absolute privilege to have represented Central Suffolk and North Ipswich for the past 14 years.

The places and people of the area are fantastic and I am proud to serve them as well as call it my home.

I will be standing down at the next General Election, which I believe should come as soon as possible but until then shall continue to diligently serve the needs of my constituents. 

But, like many local people, I have become disillusioned and concerned about how The Conservatives are failing our NHS.

I have joined the Labour Party as I believe they will do a better job of running our important public services.

In addition to representing Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, I work part time as a Mental Health Doctor supporting the busy A&E Department at Ipswich Hospital.

I have seen first-hand the devastating challenges faced by patients, the soaring waiting lists and the pressure on staff.

In East Suffolk and North Essex Patients with conditions like strokes and heart attacks wait an average of 39 minutes for an ambulance, more than double the safe standard.

In March, 4,000 such patients waited more than 1 hour 24 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

88,000 are on NHS waiting lists in East Suffolk and North Essex, and 4,000 have been waiting more than a year.

This is not the fault of my NHS colleagues who work with such dedication, this is about the Conservative government’s failure to properly manage and protect the NHS and local patients. 

As a matter of professional conscience, I could no longer look my colleagues and my patients in the eye as an MP knowing what this Conservative government has done to our NHS.

And it’s not just the NHS, bills are rising, the economy is stagnant and the tax burden is the highest in 70 years. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Your family, the people of Suffolk, and our country deserve so much better. 

Keir Starmer knows that, which is why he’s fought so hard to change the Labour Party.

Just look at how he has transformed the party from the one he inherited into a party ready to get the NHS back on its feet.

Labour is now a serious party of government, and it’s one in which I and the British public can put our trust.

Unlike the Conservatives, Labour has a real plan to cut the NHS backlog and cut waiting times by giving the NHS the staff and technology it needs.

Labour will be the government that gets our NHS back on its feet and makes it a service fit for the future.

Dr Dan Poulter is MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich