UK Election campaign highlights: Parties clash over NHS, while vote applications surge


Labour and the Tories clashed over the NHS today with Jeremy Corbyn producing what he said were 451 pages of “uncensored” government documents which showed the NHS would be “on the table” in trade talks with the US.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson insisted he had not broken his no-drinking vow – as he sipped cider.

Here are some of the highlights of today’s campaign trail:

– Labour and Tories continue to clash over the NHS being ‘up for sale’ in a US trade deal.

Jeremy Corbyn produced what he said were 451 pages of “uncensored” government documents which, he said, showed the NHS would be “on the table” in talks with the Trump administration.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveils the document in Westminster

But the Tories hit back, accusing the Labour leader of “out-and-out lying” – deliberately taking passages out of context from documents which had been publicly available online for weeks.

Boris Johnson described the Labour claims as “total nonsense”, insisting: “The NHS is not on the table in any way.”

– Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn will not be taking part in the BBC’s seven-way election debate.

The debate is due to take place on BBC One on Friday at 7.30pm, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak will attend for the Tories, while shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey will represent Labour.

But for the other two main parties, leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson and leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon will both feature.

Also due to take part are leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price, former leader of the Green Party and Green candidate for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas, and Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice.

– Nicola Sturgeon set out billions of pounds worth of demands as the price for her party’s support.

Ms Sturgeon insisted there is “every chance” the SNP will hold the balance of power at Westminster after the General Election.

She wants NHS spending south of the border to grow so it is at the same level in Scotland, where it is currently £136 per person higher.

The extra money that would go to Holyrood as a result of that investment would allow the NHS in Scotland to have a budget of more than £17 billion by 2024-25, the party has calculated.

– Nearly 700,000 people applied to register to vote on deadline day.

A total of 659,666 applications were submitted on Tuesday, according to Government figures.

This is higher than the 622,398 on deadline day for the 2017 general election, and 485,012 on the equivalent day for the 2015 poll.

It is the largest volume of applications submitted in a single day since registration data was first published in June 2014.

– The Prime Minister insisted he has not broken his no-drinking vow – as he sipped cider

Mr Johnson pulled a pint of Rattler, which he tried to pronounce in a Cornish accent, at Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm and then appeared unable to resist sampling it.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm near Truro

He told watching press: “I’m not allowed to drink anything… but I can have a sip as long as everybody understands that this is not properly…

“This is not breaking my vow – I’m not allowed to drink until we get Brexit done but I’m going to have one small sip.”

Tweet of the day

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn quote-tweeted Boris Johnson’s claim that “Our NHS will never be for sale”, saying “this did not age well”, after he produced unredacted documents relating to a possible post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

Picture of the day

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream, near Redruth in Cornwall where he enjoyed a cream tea

What’s Next?

  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies will reveal its analysis of party manifestos from 0930.
  • Boris Johnson is campaigning in Devon.
  • Jeremy Corbyn will set out Labour’s environment policies on the south coast
  • Jo Swinson is expected to give a speech in London
  • Channel 4 News will host a General Election climate debate from 1900.
  • Nigel Farage and Brexit Party candidate for Hull West, Michelle Dewberry, will be campaigning in Hull.

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