Bedford’s new MP has said that keeping health services in the town is his “number one priority”.
Mohammad Yasin sensationally pipped previous Conservative MP Richard Fuller to the post in Thursday’s election – and has already started his fight to improve health funding for the borough.
Speaking to the Times & Citizen in Westminster, he also said he was ‘delighted’ to be the first ethnic minority member of parliament in Bedfordshire, and hoped that his success would pave the way for other young people from ethnic minorities to get involved in politics.
Mr Yasin, who has been a Bedford Borough councillor in Queens Park since 2006, is now looking forward to meeting ministers to try to convince them to fund both the hospital and the local authority.
He said: “It’s been a busy few days since the election and I’m trying to arrange meetings with the chief executive of Bedford Hospital, so that is my number one priority.
“On the doorsteps the hospital was the main issue and we are starting to work already to try and find out what the situation is.
“It’s giving us all frustration and a lot of uncertainty, nothing else.
“The services are at risk because of austerity and we will do our very best to get funding for the hospital and to keep the services in Bedford.”
In a visit to Bedford during the election campaign, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged that his party would suspend the NHS’ Strategic Transformation Plan (STP) which is looking to downgrade A&E, maternity and paediatrics at either Bedford, Milton Keynes or Luton hospital.
Mr Yasin maintained that he would look to do this, but conceded that it is “not our government”.
He added that the felt the hospital was the “main reason” why Bedford had chosen to vote in Mr Yasin, who is only Labour’s fourth-ever MP in the town.
The father-of-four and former taxi driver also spoke of his ambition to inspire other people from ethnic minorities.
He said: “Hopefully this will open the doors for others.
“There are so many talented people in Bedford and Kempston and hopefully they will come forward and realise that we live in a beautiful society.
“Bedford is a diverse place and we are proud of that and the equal opportunities we have.”