Fertility expert Lord Winston has thrown his weight behind Labour’s NHS-focused campaign in the forthcoming local elections.

The IVF pioneer will appear in a party election broadcast which seeks to put the government’s controversial reforms of the health service at the centre of the battle for councils and mayoralties on 3 May.

Lord Robert Winston, a Labour peer and professor of science and society at Imperial College London, said he would normally “never dream” of taking part in an election broadcast for any party.

“But I’m so angry about the way the National Health Service is going, I feel so strongly about what is happening, I feel that I need to stand up and say very clearly why it’s important to vote Labour,” he said.

“Before the general election, David Cameron said he could be trusted with the NHS, he said he’d protect the front line at all costs.

“We now know that wasn’t true.”

The Health Act, affecting services in England, finally received Royal Assent on 27 March despite fierce opposition from healthcare professionals, patient groups, unions and Labour.

Labour has drawn up a pledge for its mayoral and council candidates committing them to “limiting the damage” from the reforms.

Although aides admit that councillors’ ability to affect NHS services is limited, they will be expected to fight to keep provision universal and free, ensure patients are put before profits, and to promote “collaboration over competition”.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “David Cameron is an NHS conman and we will remind people of that every day until the next general election.”