Bill Wiggin MP attended a British Heart Foundation (BHF) event calling on the next government to guarantee the future of the science budget to protect life saving research.

The MP for North Herefordshire joined heart patient Emily Sullivan, 8, for a science lesson to highlight the importance of charities being able to continue funding medical research in Westminster on Wednesday 4 February.

British heart Foundation event 4.2.15

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.

Bill Wiggin MP 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.

“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.

Without government support, the BHF’s ability to fund world class research to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) would be significantly reduced.

The BHF is calling on the next government 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.

“Every single research grant we fund is underpinned by Government investment in universities.

“This fund is a vital partnership between Government, charity and universities and any cut to it would be extremely damaging to our life saving research and the fight against heart disease.”

A quarter of all deaths in the UK are caused by CVD and there are an estimated seven million people living with the condition.

For over 50 years the BHF has pioneered research that has transformed the lives of millions of people living with CVD.

The BHF is the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research and invests over £100 million every year.