A petition calling for an accident and emergency unit to be saved has been handed in to 10 Downing Street.

Andy Walker, who has campaigned for the future of the A&E at King George’s hospital for years, believes the department is still under threat, despite the council issuing a statement to the contrary last month.

Redbridge Council and Barking, Redbridge and Havering University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), which runs the hospital, published a statement in April which said: “We want to be very clear, the threat of closure of the Accident and Emergency unit arising from decisions in 2011 has been removed. There will continue to be an Accident and Emergency unit at King George Hospital.”

At the time the statement was welcomed by MP for Ilford South, Mike Gapes and council leader Cllr Jas Athwal, who said it was “time for scaremongering to stop”.

But Mr Walker and other campaigners have been saying for months that the threat has not been entirely lifted as they believe new plans for hospitals in the area detailing a restructure of services entail the A&E’s closure.

Mr Walker, along with two councillors from Havering Council, visited 10 Downing Street on Friday to hand in a petition calling for the hospital trust to consult the public on its new plans and make all details publicly available.

Mr Walker said: “The key thing is we have to stop this radical new plan, I’m puzzled why the council and the hospitals trust are saying there is no new plan, when it’s clear.

“I’ve pushed health bosses about this plan, which was agreed in 2016 and is being worked through now.

“Queen’s Hospital is being extended to cope with more patients, according to these plans to make King George hospital a centre of excellence for the elderly.

“The new plan transfers all emergency patients to Queen’s and it’s undeniable, an 11-year-old could read the plans and see it’s a plan to close King George A&E.

“Senior politicians need to get into the real world and come to terms with what is actually happening.”

A spokesman for BHRUT said the hospital trust had nothing further to add to its statement last month, confirming that the A&E is in fact safe for the future.

A council spokesperson said: “The council Leaders of Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham, along with the hospital trust and CCG made it very clear in March that the threat of closure of the A&E unit at King George Hospital has been removed. Continuing to raise concerns is unwarranted, unhelpful and unnecessary.”