I was surprised by the comments of the UKIP candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the Halesowen News. He only has to listen to his colleagues in their own words to know what UKIP think of our NHS.

Nigel Farage said: “Frankly, I would feel more comfortable that my money would return value if I was able to do that through an insurance company than just us trustingly giving £100 billion a year to central government and expecting them to organise the healthcare service from cradle to grave for us.”

The deputy leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall, posted a letter on his own website saying the NHS is so costly and inefficient that its very existence should be called into question. Leaked documents show UKIP’s ruling committee unanimously approving a pro-privatisation policy in October 2012.

Only this week it was revealed that the party secretary of UKIP, Matthew Richardson, described the NHS as a “socialist Reichstag” and the “biggest waste of money in the UK”.

These statements may make uncomfortable reading for my UKIP opponent but that’s nothing compared to the misery they will bring patients if they get their hands on our public NHS.

The NHS is in crisis and threatened with more privatisation and fragmentation from UKIP and the Tories. I’m standing to be a local MP to fight for a better NHS. I will not be bullied into silence by my opponents.

Stephanie Peacock Labour PPC Halesowen and Rowley Regis