POLITICAL rivals put their sparring to one side in support of carers after hearing of £750,000 of lost funding intended to give them a much-needed break.

Parliamentary candidates standing in both Hornsey and Wood Green and Tottenham were outraged to learn through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request that Government funding given to NHS Haringey for carers was added to the health authority's general budget.

The decision meant Haringey carers were not able to get the short-term respite breaks from the loved ones they care for on a meagre allowance.

An extract from the letter reads: "A Freedom of Information question by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers has revealed that Government monies of over £750,000 were given to Haringey Primary Care Trust so carers could have much needed respite breaks.

"We, the undersigned parliamentary candidates have heard that these monies have not been allocated for this purpose. We would like an explanation and seek reassurance that Haringey Primary Care Trust releases these monies for carer respite breaks."

The request revealed that NHS Haringey, formerly Haringey PCT, received £265,099 in 2009/10 and £528, 397 in this financial year.

Neither of the grants were ring-fenced.

The joint letter was suggested by Richard Merrin the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green.

Mr Merrin said: "I was absolutely shell-shocked by what I heard.

"I looked at the amazing work done across all parties to save the Whittington Hospital and I felt if we put on a united front, we would send a strong message to NHS Haringey that the issue is on our radar. Sometimes campaigns are hijacked by politicians, but there are some things that are just more important."

The letter was also signed by rivals Lynne Featherstone (LibDem), Karen Jennings (Labour), Pete McAskie (Green) and Stephane De Roche (Independent).

Tottenham parliamentary candidates Anne Gray (Green),Sean Sullivan (Conservative) and Neville Watson (Independent People Together) also signed the letter after being moved by the stories they heard at the hustings for carers at Middle Lane Methodist Church, in Hornsey, last Friday.

Candidates David Schmitz (Lib Dem) and Sheikh Thompson (Independent) did not attend the hustings but have since also endorsed the letter.

Politicians heard how many carers struggled to cope alone with family members — many with Alzheimers, Autism or physical disabilities.

The Haringey Independent is awaiting comment from NHS Haringey.