DOCTORS and nurses rallied today to support a candidate in the Eastleigh by-election who is battling privatisation and the commercialisation of the NHS.

The medics marched through the town centre before converging in Leigh Park, to support Dr Iain Maclennan.

The 55-year-old former Royal Navy medical officer and public health consultant in Hampshire, is seeking to become the first MP to be returned by the newly formed National Health Action party (NHA).

Dr Maclennan spoke about the challenges of voter apathy and lack of local awareness of the threat of privatisation of the NHS.

He said: “I will be a different sort of MP - one that truly represents the people rather than the interests of a party. It's a disgrace that real people involvement in the affairs of Parliament is the exception rather than the rule.”

He went onto outline the threat to local community health services.

He said: “I'm particularly worried about Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Solent NHS Trust. The real power will rest with Commissioning Support South - not local clinicians. “It's only a matter of time before this Coalition government allows a private takeover".

The by-election on February 28 is being held in the wake of the resignation of Eastleigh Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne who is facing jail over lying over a speeding ticket.

The NHA party was founded last year by doctors and health care professionals concerned about the increasing privatisation and commercialisation of the NHS.

The party is planning to field 50 candidates at the General Election.