LEDBURY'S MP, Bill Wiggin is calling on the next government to guarantee the future of the science budget to protect life saving research.

He spoke after meeting heart patient, Emily Sullivan, aged eight, at a recent British Heart Foundation (BHF) event at Westminster.

Emily has had three open heart surgeries after being born with three large holes in her heart, a condition that more and more people are surviving because of BHF research.

Mr Wiggin said: “Charities are an essential part of the UK medical research environment and the science budget is vital to supporting their research.

“By funding the day-to-day running of science facilities, the next government will ensure that researchers can concentrate on finding the next life saving cure."

He added: “If we are to prevent and treat devastating conditions like cardiovascular disease in places like North Herefordshire, we need continued investment in pioneering research and to guarantee the future of the science budget."

Medical research charities, like the BHF, rely on government investment to pay for the indirect costs of research, such as lighting, electricity and heating for laboratories.

The BHF is calling on the next government, whoever forms it, to maintain the current ring-fencing of the science budget and to commit to future increases.

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “If the UK is to maintain its strong position in biomedical research, the next government must guarantee the future of the science budget."