A HIGHLY-respected Stanmore surgeon could try to unseat Harrow MP Tony McNulty in this year's General Election in a bid to save his hospital.

Professor Tim Briggs, medical director at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, is considering running for Parliament in Harrow East.

He is angry at the government's failure to commit funds to redevelop the specialist spinal injury hospital, in Wood Lane, and if he stands will run on the single issue of saving the hospital.

He said: “This hospital has been under threat for 40 years, but despite all my efforts to play the right game, we have not received the money from the NHS to rebuild the hospital.

“We need to send a message to the politicians and senior managers in the NHS that this is not acceptable.”

In February 2008, the Harrow Times broke the news that the world-renowned hospital had been given the green light for a £110m rebuilding project on its existing site.

However, that long-awaited breakthrough was not followed by the NHS delivering the funding, and the project now appears to have stalled.

Prof Briggs is now considering standing for Parliament to tackle head-on the decision makers who he says are letting the hospital "wither and die”.

He said: “This country can't afford to lose an organisation like this, it's as simple as that.

“I have been backed into a corner, and feel like a victim of all of this. If I stand it will be for the patients and the staff who have been let down.”

Prof Briggs is an internationally-respected expert on bone and soft tissue tumours who has been at the Stanmore hospital since 1992, and has spearheaded efforts to rebuild the hospital.

It is currently housed in a slew of decaying buildings, some more than 60 years old, and Prof Briggs said he fears it will be allowed to fall apart until it is eventually closed.

He is meeting Health Minister Andy Burnham and Mr McNulty on Thursday, January 7, to ask for guarantees of £25m for immediate maintenance work and £100m over the next five years for the rebuilding programme.

If his demands are not met, he is willing to go head-to-head with Mr McNulty in an election which will take place in the first half of this year.

He said: “Tony has organised lots of meetings but still nothing has happened. I had a meeting agreed with the secretary of state in December but it was cancelled at short notice.

“I think they are content to let this place wither and die, and I won't let that happen.”