A left-wing political group is backing calls for a new hospital to serve west Hertfordshire.

Momentum - a grassroots organisation set up in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader - has endorsed a petition that has gathered more than 10,000 signatures online.

Edith Glatter, a member of the New Hospital Campaign, started the appeal because she believes plans to develop Watford General Hospital are unsustainable.

Online, the petition states that the site requires at least £100m of maintenance and cannot be brought up to date.

Momentum Watford backed the campaign and tweeted that while Watford General Hospital is "great", it is “struggling with demand”.

But Watford Borough Council Liberal Democrats and Mayor Dorothy Thornhill have interpreted the endorsement as an attack on Watford.

Dorothy Thornhill is a partner in the council-led Health Campus scheme, in which work on the redevelopment of Watford General Hospital appears to have stalled.

Watford Borough councillor Glen Saffery said: “Labour on the council opposed key decisions which helped secure our hospital’s future - like the new road and the use of the ex-Farm Terrace site as part of the Health Campus to allow the hospital to expand.

“Now the Corbyn-supporting faction Momentum are encouraging residents to campaign to move our hospital out of the borough altogether.”

However Watford Labour group leader Nigel Bell called Cllr Saffrey's assertions "total lies" and sought to distance his group members from the radical political faction. 

"It is a total lie that we opposed the road. I voted for it," said Cllr Bell. 

"We've always been in favour of the hospital being in Watford. Momentum has nothing to do with us in the Watford Labour Party."

Mayor Thornhill, who describes Momentum as Jeremy Corbyn’s “fan club”, said she is not surprised by the endorsement.

She said: “Labour have tried to face both ways on the future of our hospital for years - claiming to support Watford General while at the same time attempting to block decisions which were needed to secure the hospital's future.

“It doesn't surprise me at all that their leader's own fan club are now backing a petition to move the Hospital to another part of Hertfordshire.”

The campaign online says: “We need a new hospital that everyone can get to, which surveys have repeatedly shown patients want.

“The present hospital is in a congested corner of our area, next to the ground of a Premier League football club.

“We want a new hospital on a central, accessible site between the three main towns - Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans and Watford.”

To sign the petition, visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/169500