HELEN Morgan, North Shropshire MP, has called an admission by a government minister over closure of rural ambulance stations, including in Shropshire, as a 'kick in the teeth'.

The admission came from Edward Argar, a junior health minister, who in response to the Liberal Democrats, said that assessments into a potential impact of the closure of community ambulance stations on rural communities did not happen.

Ms Morgan, who replaced Owen Paterson and turned North Shropshire into a non-Tory constituency for the first time in its history this month, said it was 'outrageous' for the government to make that decision without assessment.

"This feels like a kick in the teeth," said Ms Morgan, who has two of the four closed ambulance stations – Oswestry and Market Drayton – in her constituency.

"It is outrageous the Government has slashed funding for local ambulance services in Shropshire without knowing the impact it will have on already dangerous waiting times.

“The Conservatives are clearly taking the people of Shropshire for granted.

“We need emergency funding to fix our local ambulance crisis.

"The Conservative Government has cut our local health services to the bone.

"Our NHS front line heroes are working tirelessly to keep us safe during this pandemic and it is time the Government had their backs.”

Daisy Cooper, who is the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, added: "This new Government admission is truly shocking.

"To close rural ambulance stations without any assessment – including four in Shropshire in one month – is a disgrace.

"Conservative Ministers should apologise to people in Shropshire and must urgently provide funding for local ambulance services.

"With warnings that rising Covid rates are leading to NHS staff shortages, the government must urgently provide a guarantee that everyone will be able to access the ambulance and other urgent care services they need.”