Rufus Hound in Euro elections NHS bid

Rufus Hound Image copyright Comic Relief
Image caption The comedian campaigned for the Liberal Democrats at the last election

The comedian and actor Rufus Hound is to stand in the next European elections to campaign against changes to the NHS.

The former stand-up comic is running for the National Health Action Party (NHA) - formed by medical professionals to oppose health policy in England.

Hound, 34, said he had already been "tweeting endlessly" about "dangers the NHS currently faces", but had now decided to become a politician.

He campaigned for the Liberal Democrats at the last election.

"I think I'm going to run as an MEP," he told ITV's Jonathan Ross Show.

"I'm going to run for the NHA because the NHS is being privatised."

The single-issue party was set up by Dr Richard Taylor, a former independent MP, to campaign against the government's Health and Social Care Act.

Dr Taylor has said the party plans to field 50 candidates in the 2015 general election.

'Take a stand'

Hound, who is due to star in a West End musical alongside actor Robert Lindsey, said he would rather be concentrating on that as it was "much more fun".

Writing on his blog he said: "There's no way I should be an MEP. I'm not smart enough, or Machiavellian enough, to survive in modern politics."

But describing the NHS as "one of the single greatest achievements of any civilisation, ever, anywhere in the history of the world", he added: "We can't afford not to take a stand.

"The lives of our children, of our grandchildren, of our great-grandchildren may very well depend on it."

The government's NHS shake-up came into force in England last April.

The Health and Social Care Act gave more responsibility for spending to GP-led groups but critics argue it will fragment the NHS and lead to a more market-led service.

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