AN OXFORDSHIRE couple's petition calling for an end to the IVF 'postcode lottery' will close at the end of today due to the upcoming general election.

If it does not reach 10,000 signatures by then there is no hope of any Government responding to it - despite it having more than 7,000 signatures.

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Emily Scott and her husband Ben, from Abingdon, set up the petition in August following their own experience of the 'confusing' and 'unfair' current NHS funding system  - which changes depending where you live.

Link to petition below

The petition currently has 7,127 signatures but an email was sent to those who had signed it this morning saying all petitions now have to close at 00.01am on November 6.

Tweeting from the IVF Fairness account, which was set up by Ms Scott to spread awareness about the campaign, she wrote: "THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY. You cannot dismiss 7,000 voices from being heard with one days notice.

"We demand a solution."

In another tweet she added: "Democracy doesn’t exist if parliamentary petitions can be discarded at the drop of a hat with less than 24 hours notice. We are stunned."

ALSO READ: Couple share their 'devastating' IVF story to call for change

An email from the petitions team explained the closure of the petition earlier than the original February 2020 date was because parliament would be dissolved, which meant all parliamentary business – including petitions – had to come to an end until after the election.

It added: "This means the petitions site will be closed and people will not be able to start or sign petitions.

"We’re sorry we weren’t able to give you more notice that this would happen."

It said the petition would be availavle for people to read on the site but would not be reopened after the election.

The email stated: "The Government can’t respond to petitions during the election period.

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"This means if the petition has over 10,000 signatures, it can’t receive a response from the current Government after November 5.

"After the election, the new Government will have to decide whether it wants to respond to petitions from before the election."

The current rules for House of Commons petitions state they need 10,000 signatures for the Government to respond, and 100,000 for a potential debate in Parliament.

Parliament will dissolve at the end of today to allow for campaigning ahead of a vote on December 12.

Sign the petition here.

Ms Scott's MP Layla Moran said she had written to the Health secretary Matt Hancock to ask for a response from the government.

She said: “We should be working hard to increase democratic participation, and Parliament has to be more transparent as part of that.

“I’ve written to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to ask him to make sure the government responds to the petitioners as soon as possible regardless of dissolution. Emily and all the people who signed the petition deserve an answer.”