MID-Worcestershire Labour Party has criticised Nigel Huddleston for voting against an amendment aimed at protecting the NHS from any form of control from outside the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit trade deal.

But the Mid-Worcestershire MP has hit back stressing the NHS is "not on the table" in negotiations.

The amendment to the government's Trade Bill, which was put forward by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and supported by Labour leader Keir Starmer and a number of other senior Labour MPs, was voted down by 340 votes to 251 in Parliament on Monday.

Following the vote Mid-Worcestershire Labour Party's acting chairman Steve Ainsworth said: "It is shocking (Mr Huddleston) voted to open the way to selling off parts of our NHS, especially after hypocritically praising its workers so loudly.

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"This comes after giving contracts for test and trace systems for Covid-19 to Deloitte and Serco, when the responsibility should be with properly resourced local public health departments.

"It is baffling to see how leaving this great public asset open to profit-hungry corporations in any way constitutes ‘taking back control’, which was the Conservative’s favourite Brexit slogan."

Mr Huddleston said: "This government has made it continuously clear that when we are negotiating trade deals, the NHS will not be on the table.

"We’ve given the biggest ever cash boost to the NHS, recruited more than 12,000 nurses and 6,000 more doctors, and will build 40 new hospitals and upgrade 20 more. We have shown how much we value our incredible health service.

"Contrary to how the opposition have portrayed it, this Trade Bill is a continuity bill, and it cannot be used to implement new free trade agreements with countries such as the US.

"Rather, the Trade Bill is designed to enable the free trade agreements that the EU had signed with third countries before the UK exited to transition.

"Our NHS is already protected by specific carve outs, exceptions and reservations in these trade agreements.

"We’ve made it clear that in future negotiations the price the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table, the services the NHS provides will not be on the table and we will protect our right to regulate our public services.

"The Trade Bill cannot be used to implement future trade deals. It was absolutely not about the content of future trade deals and the future of the NHS, and it is misleading to claim otherwise."