Debribillator debate is vital, say campaigners

A parliamentary debate is being seen as a snub to a campaign on life-saving equipment sparked by the death of a young boy at Liverpool’s King David High School.

Oliver King was 12 when he died after collapsing from a heart attack at King David High in 2011. His father, Mark, has been campaigning to place resuscitation equipment across the UK by founding the Oliver King Foundation.

An online parliamentary petition gained 110,000 signatories, and campaigners had hoped for a full Commons debate on placing defibrillators in all public buildings. But despite support from shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg and MP Luciana Berger with other MPs, the Backbench Business Committee granted a three-hour debate to be held in Westminster Hall, tabled for March 25, rather than a full House of Commons debate.

Liverpool councillor Jake Morrison, who started the e-petition, said a Commons debate could still happen if there is a good turnout to next week’s debate, and asked the public to write to their MPs urging them to attend.

“The reason we want a House of Commons debate is because there will be a vote. It is crucial that this campaign is not snubbed, as it has been continuously over the past 13 months by the Government,” Mr Morrison said.

All shuls in Liverpool have a defibrillator, as do two in Manchester.

Last updated: 10:45am, March 25 2013