Oops! Health secretary Matt Hancock in Newmarket Hospital mix-up

Matt Hancock ended up with a red face over A&E at Newmarket Hospital. Picture: House of Commons

Matt Hancock ended up with a red face over A&E at Newmarket Hospital. Picture: House of Commons - Credit: Archant

Health secretary and West Suffolk Conservative parliamentary candidate Matt Hancock has been left red-faced after welcoming improvements to a non-existent unit in his local hospital in a newspaper article.

It said: "It was brilliant to be able to be announce improvements to A&E at Newmarket Hospital and that West Suffolk Hospital will be rebuilt."

Newmarket Hospital lost its A&E department years ago and there are no plans to reintroduce it - and Mr Hancock came clean that this was a mistake.

He said: "What I meant to say was that I welcomed the improvements at Newmarket and to A&E at West Suffolk which will be rebuilt. I read it after it was written and just didn't see the mistake. It's just one of those things, a typo!"

But his political opponents leapt on the comment, claiming it showed that he didn't spend enough time finding out about his constituency.

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Labour candidate Claire Unwin tweeted a copy of the article alongside a picture of the Newmarket Hospital sign which clearly says there is no A&E department

Her tweet said: Newmarket hasn't got an A&E. How can you say that you're improving it?"

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Other tweets have also asked whether this is a sign that Mr Hancock is out of touch with what is happening in West Suffolk.

The Health Secretary said he had been able to campaign across his constituency as well as visiting other parts of the country: "I do have national campaigning responsibilities, but I have been here regularly and the campaign here is going very well. We have been getting a great response on the doorsteps," he said.

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