An MP has welcomed the news that south west Hertfordshire is set to receive a £400 million investment - but says he wants the money spent on a new hospital.

Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning is not backing down on his campaign for a new hospital which is more central to Watford, St Albans, and Hemel.

West Herts Hospitals Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) say building a new hospital is too expensive and the NHS groups instead favour spending most of the money on refurbishing Watford General Hospital.

After the government announced the investment at west Herts, which is "ready to be spent straight away", Sir Mike said in the commons chamber: "£400 million is welcome, but not if we are going to chuck it into Watford Hospital, which is a Victorian hospital that took all the work from Hemel Hempstead Hospital when Labour closed our acute hospital.

"Hemel Hempstead is the largest town in Hertfordshire. We welcome the money, but we would like a new hospital where we could look after St Albans, Hitchin and Harpenden, Watford and Hemel Hempstead in the 21st century—we do not want to plough this into a Victorian hospital."

Speaking afterwards, Sir Mike said: "I spoke with the Secretary of State at the weekend and he has offered a meeting in which we can put our case.

"I will follow this up so that we can put forward the detailed case ably put together by the New Hospital Campaign which clearly demonstrates that a new site option is not only possible but by far the better option for all the people of west Hertfordshire."