Liverpool Royal Hospital: MP calls for public ownership of stalled build
A new hospital should be brought into public ownership to allow building work to be completed, an MP has said.
Work on the £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital was halted in February after construction giant Carillion collapsed.
Liverpool Walton MP Dan Carden told Prime Minister's Questions it was now "a monument to corporate greed".
Standing in for Theresa May, Cabinet Minister David Lidington said the government was "absolutely committed" to finishing the project.
The Labour MP said hospitals were "for treating the sick, not for lining the pockets of investors".
"Instead of waiting for commercial lawyers and accountants holding secret meetings with no public accountability, will the government now call in this contract, buy out the investors and deliver a publicly-owned, publicly-run hospital for the people of Liverpool?" he said.
Mr Lidington said the government was "absolutely committed" to getting the hospital built "as rapidly as possible" and "securing best value for money".
He said the government was supporting the trust which will run the hospital and working with private sector funders, but it was not "the right approach" to "buy out" private interest in the project as it would "encourage irresponsible lending".
First due to open in March 2017, the project - which is being built next to the existing Royal Liverpool - has been delayed several times, but much of the work was close to completion when Carillion collapsed.
A spokesman for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said a new contractor had yet to be appointed and no completion date had been set.
He said a structural review of the construction was continuing to help determine future costs and the timescale for completion.