BURY’S council leader has slammed one of the town’s MPs for failing to capitalise on a chance to highlight a campaign to “save” Bury Hospice.

Labour leader Cllr Mike Connolly criticised Conservative Bury North MP David Nuttall for not taking up the campaign in Parliament.

However, Mr Nuttall labelled the Save Bury Hospice campaign as a “politically motivated Labour Party creation” after it was set up by Cllr James Frith who will challenge the MP for his seat in 2015.

Mr Nuttall spoke during Prime Ministers Questions on July 9, and asked David Cameron whether he still agreed with a comment he made in 2002 about the European arrest warrant.

The European Union- wide scheme means that countries can be compelled to arrest and extradite a criminal and hand them over to another member state to face justice.

However, in answering a public question at last week’s council meeting at Bury Town Hall about the hospice, Cllr Connolly hit out at Mr Nuttall for not mentioning the hospice story.

He said: “He had an opportunity. He should have been asking a question about saving Bury Hospice, instead he choose to ask a question about the European arrest warrant.

"That seems to be the attitude of the Tories.”

Mr Nuttall said: “Whatever I ask in Parliament, local Labour councillors and Labour Party members will criticise, it is only to be expected.

"I attended the Bury Hospice Party in the Park and there was no stall saying they had a ‘cash crisis’.

“Bury Hospice does absolutely excellent work and I, like thousands of other in Bury, have personally made a number of donations to the hospice over the years.”

Cllr Connolly also claimed that a request to meet with the health secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the issue had been refused.

The Bury Times revealed how the hospice is experiencing a funding crisis, due to a combination of a lack of donations and financial constraints from Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG provides about 10 per cent of the hospice’s funding, but says it is unlikely to be able to plug the gap because of its own funding crisis, prompted by what it claims a sits own longstanding underfunding.