Boris Johnson denies NHS is 'on the table' in US talks as Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'conspiracy theory nonsense'
Boris Johnson has strenuously denied the NHS is “on the table” in UK-US trade talks as the Tories accused Jeremy Corbyn of “conspiracy theory-fuelled nonsense”.
The Prime Minister hit back at the Labour leader after he claimed the health service is “up for sale” in a post-Brexit deal with Donald Trump.
Mr Johnson said: “We are absolutely resolved that there will be no sale of the NHS, no privatisation, the NHS is not on the table in any way.”
Mr Corbyn had earlier published 451 pages of previously redacted documents detailing discussions between officials from both sides.
But the PM said “in no way” was the NHS up for discussion with America.
And he hit back at the opposition saying: “This is continuously brought up by the Labour Party as a diversionary tactic from the difficulties they are encountering, particularly the problem about leadership on anti-semitism, and the great vacuity of their policy on Brexit.”
The International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said Mr Corbyn “is getting desperate and is out-and-out lying to the public” as the Conservatives delivered a robust response to his claims.
At a press conference in Westminster the Labour leader said the reports of six meetings over a two-year period "pulls back the curtain" on Government plans to give American corporations access to the NHS once the UK leaves the EU.
He said: "We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed."
But the Tories say the “supposed unredacted dossier” has already been online for two months, and that “in over 450 pages the documents only mention the NHS four times”.
They accuse Mr Corbyn of “deliberately quoting passages out of context in an attempt to peddle his conspiracy theories”, and say that in fact the documents prove he “misled the public” in last week’s TV debate.
Ms Truss said of the Labour leader: “People should not believe a word that he says - this stunt is simply a smokescreen for the fact that he has no plan for Brexit and that he has been forced to admit that he wants to increase taxes for millions of families.
“As we have consistently made clear: the NHS will not be on the table in any future trade deal and the price that the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table.
“This sort of conspiracy theory fuelled nonsense is not befitting of the leader of a major political party.”